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Mailmusic: Dolly the devine; DOLLY PARTON Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, Nov 26.

Byline: Billy Sloan

QUEEN of country Dolly Parton took Scotland by storm with a sensational gig at the Armadillo and the Foo Fighters whipped their fans into a frenzy. If you want to comment on any of our reviewers' opinions, drop us a line at: Mailmusic, Sunday Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow, G3 8DA. Or send us an email: music@sundaymail. co.uk

DOLLY PARTON is living proof that what you see isn't always what you get.

The very mention of her name evokes visions of the outsize blonde wigs and famous boobs.

The image should never detract from the quality of her music and this outstanding show simply underlined that.

The divine Ms P has few peers when it comes to painting pictures with her catalogue of superb songs.

From the opening bars of Orange Blossom Special, she showed why she is a legend.

The little quaver in her voice is perfect for relating stories about "wicked handsome strangers" in Mountain Angel to "crickets sitting on the porch" in the haunting In My Tennessee Mountain Home.

While you can't always relate to such scenarios, the sentiments never fail to hit the target.

You could have heard a pin drop in the Armadillo as Dolly took the audience on an incredible journey from her poor childhood in the Smokey Mountains to Nashville and superstardom.

I've rarely seen a performer exert such a hold over an audience.

The lyrics of moving numbers such as Little Sparrow, Halos And Horns and a stunning Coat Of Many Colours felt like pages torn from a book on Americana.

For my money, Dolly is up there with Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen when it comes to defining periods of US social history in song.

The climax of her set was brilliant. Dolly breathed new life into David Gates' classic song If. The four-part acappella harmonies on Islands In The Stream were sublime while a rousing 9 To 5 brought the house down.

Dolly saved the best until last. Her signature song Jolene is a heartbreaking tale of lost love... and Dolly's pained vocals helped give it added pathos.

Her encore was I Will Always Love You immortalised by Whitney Houston in the 1992 movie, The Bodyguard.

But no one sings it quite like Dolly.

It was wonderful to see her pour her emotions into a song now so badly butchered by legions of karaoke singers.

You will never escape the larger-than-life Dolly personna.

But in this age of manufactured pop, isn't it reassuring to know there is one performer with some genuine music talent beneath the image.

Dolly... you're a REAL star.

BILLY SLOAN
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:441
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