Hear Dolly Parton Board the Breakup Train in New 'Blue Smoke' - Rolling Stone
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Hear Dolly Parton Board the Breakup Train in New ‘Blue Smoke’

The 68-year-old singer touches on both bluegrass and gospel in her latest track

With its chugging combination of guitar and percussion, it’s clear that Dolly Parton’s new song “Blue Smoke” is going to be about a train even before the iconic singer says goodbye to her partner and purchases a ticket to ride one out of town.

See where Dolly Parton checks in on our 100 Greatest Songs of All Time

Our premiere of the first single off the country icon’s upcoming album — also called Blue Smoke, due May 13th — confirms what Dolly has said about the LP, which coincides with a world tour:  “On this CD I think there are all of the colors of my life in all the areas of music that you’ve allowed me to dabble in through the years,” she said. “You will hear my old world mountain voice on songs like ‘Banks of The Ohio’ and ‘If I Had Wings,’ my tender side on songs like ‘Miss You – Miss Me’ and ‘Unlikely Angel.’ My country/bluegrass side of songs like ‘Home,’ ‘Blue Smoke’ and ‘Don’t Think Twice’ and my funny tongue-in-cheek side on ‘Lover du Jour.'”

The bluegrass influence on “Blue Smoke” is obivious, particularly after the line “I done made up my mind, I’m really going this time” introduces some celebratory double-time. But the track’s subsequent gospel breakdown is unexpected, an a cappella turn that makes this break-up seem almost emancipatory. Watch the track’s lyric video here and grab the song on iTunes today.


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