Dolly’s world comes to Toronto

Iconic coun­try mu­sic per­former in town for a rare con­cert ap­pear­ance cel­e­brat­ing her 70th birth­day and 43rd al­bum

North Toronto Post - - News -

Toronto’s Mol­son Am­phithe­atre will be alive with the sounds of old school coun­try mu­sic on Sept. 9 when the grand dame of Nashville, Dolly Par­ton, hits town fol­low­ing the re­lease of a new al­bum of love songs dubbed Pure & Sim­ple.

The al­bum sounds like vin­tage Dolly. When you went in the record­ing stu­dio, is that what you had in mind?

Yes it was. When I de­cided to do a tour called Pure &

Sim­ple, we stripped it down mu­si­cally. And I thought, well, we need a CD, and it needs to be called Pure & Sim­ple. And I thought, well, ev­ery­thing on it should not be overly pro­duced or over­done. So I wrote all th­ese love songs, and I wanted to pur­pose­fully do it kind of like how it was in my early days. With the new sounds and tech­nol­ogy, it sounds re­ally good, but we re­ally cap­tured that feel­ing, I think, of what my early ses­sions were.

On the song “I’m Six­teen,” you sing you are “Never old un­less you choose to be.” That is vin­tage Dolly right there, isn’t it?

Yes, it is. That’s one of my favourites. I wrote that be­cause of a re­la­tion­ship of one of my sis­ters. She had a cou­ple of bad re­la­tion­ships, and she just thought it wasn’t meant for her to have true love, and she’d just kind of given up. And all of sud­den, she met some­one. They’re both in their 60s, and they just ab­so­lutely fell head over heels in love, and they just act like they are 16 years old. And I knew from my life how I was at 16, do­ing all that skin­ny­dip­ping and rid­ing around the Tasty Freeze and all that, so that was a fun and easy song to write that was in­spired by some­one else but that I could put a lot of my­self in as well.

Any­thing in par­tic­u­lar you do to just stay feel­ing young other than love?

Well, I work. I have a good at­ti­tude. I have a lot of young lit­tle nieces and neph­ews. And I think it helps you feel and stay young to sur­round your­self with a lot of chil­dren. So you pick up on their lit­tle en­er­gies and thoughts, and it kind of keeps you in tune. And so I have a good at­ti­tude.… I have a happy heart, and I want things to be good, and when they’re not, it hurts me. But I work hard at try­ing to set things right if I can so I can get back to feel­ing good, so I can help other peo­ple feel­ing good.

What would you say to or warn your younger self about at the be­gin­ning of your ca­reer?

Well, I think you re­ally need to pace your­self. I would say you need to brace your­self and pace your­self. And don’t wear your­self out. Just kind of do what you know that you should do. Do as much as you can. Don’t try and do more than that and don’t burn your­self out. Don’t burn that can­dle down be­fore other peo­ple get to see the glow. I re­ally think that you should be true to your­self, true to your mu­sic and your ba­sic prin­ci­ples and val­ues and just buckle up and go for it.

Did you feel pres­sure to look a cer­tain way in your ca­reer?

I’ve stayed true to my­self. I had a ba­sic look. And I pat­terned my look af­ter the town tramp in my home­town. I thought she was beau­ti­ful even though she was over­done. And I wasn’t a nat­u­ral beauty, so that was beauty to me. So I just feel com­fort­able with the way I dress, and I’ve never been un­com­fort­able with my­self. If I’m com­fort­able with me, other peo­ple seem to be com­fort­able with me. I know I look ar­tif­i­cal, but as I’ve of­ten said, I like to feel I’m to­tally real where it counts.

Do you still love this as much as the first time you per­formed?

Yes, I love it as much. I re­ally can’t tell you how much I love to do it now and how im­por­tant it is. I want to do this for­ever, and I rec­og­nize the num­ber of my age, and so I think I haven’t got as much time as I used to have, so I want to make the most of ev­ery sin­gle minute. I don’t want to lose a thing, and I’ll never re­tire. I hope to drop dead in the mid­dle of a song on­stage or what­ever one of th­ese days in the fu­ture. But I do love it. I love it even more be­cause time is pre­cious.

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