Singer/songwriter Dolly Parton performs Sept. 28 at Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles as part of her Pure & Simple tour covering 60 cities. (Gary Lambert / Noozhawk photo)

Dolly Parton on Sept. 28 brought her Pure & Simple tour to the Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, one of 60 cities as she embarks on her first major U.S. and Canadian tour in more than 25 years.

She gave a stellar performance. At the beginning of the concert, it seemed more than sold out with standing room only. As the lights went down, we were introduced with the music of Hello Dolly, then the opening with the high-energy song “Train Train” by Blackfoot. Parton made it her own, pumping up the audience with a high-adrenaline flow that kickstarted the concert.

As the concert went on, Parton would tell stories between her songs about her life and music, and with her sweet charm and quick wit she kept the audience intrigued and thirsting for more.

I really had no idea how talented Parton was, and while watching her perform it amazed me how many musical instruments she could play. While many musicians spend a lifetime learning one instrument, it has been said she is able to perform with as many as 12 instruments.

Showing off some of her talent at the young age of 70, she nailed it with a saxophone performing “Rocky Top/Yakety Sax,” and doing the same with many other songs through the night with her different stringed instruments.

Her accomplishments have been many, and I mean many. Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA-certified gold, platinum and multiplatinum awards, she had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 carted singles during the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections and digital downloads during her career have topped 100 million worldwide.

Dolly Parton’s performance was pure and simple, staying true to the tour’s name.

Dolly Parton’s performance was pure and simple, staying true to the tour’s name. (Gary Lambert / Noozhawk photo)

She also has been honored with eight Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, 10 Country Music Association Awards and was one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton has received 46 Grammy nominations. In 1999, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

She has composed more than 3,000 songs. She also is one of the few to have received at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards and the Emmy Awards. She also has starred in films such as 9 to 5, The Best little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone and Steel Magnolias.

In closing, I would have to say that this was one of the better concerts of the summer, and I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to see one of the greatest divas in country music perform. She truly is an icon in the music world, and not knowing a whole lot about Parton, going to her concert and doing research on this short review has turned me into a fan — what a talent!

Parton said last week, “I may look fake, but I’m real where it counts — my heart.” You’re a class act, Ms. Parton, and last week your concert was pure and simple — just like your heart.


» 1. Train Train 

» 2. Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That

» 3. Jolene  

» 4. Pure & Simple

» 5. Precious Memories

» 6. My Tennessee Mountain Home

» 7. Coat of Many Colors

» 8. Smokey Mountain Memories

» 9. Applejack

» 10. Rocky Top/Yakety Sax

» 11. American Pie

» 12. If I Had a Hammer

» 13. Blowin’ in the Wind

» 14. Dust in the Wind

» 15. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

» 16. The Seeker

» 17. I’ll Fly Away

Set two:

» 18. Baby I’m Burnin

» 19. Something’s Burning

» 20. Great Balls of Fire

» 21. Girl on Fire

» 22. Outside Your Door

» 23. The Grass is Blue

» 24. Those Memories of You

» 25. Do I Ever Cross Your Mind

» 26. Little Sparrow

» 27. If I Had Wings

» 28. Here You Come Again

» 29. Islands in the Stream

» 30. 9 to 5


» 31. I Will Always Love You

— Gary Lambert is a Noozhawk contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.

Concertgoers line up to purchase wine before the concert.

Concertgoers line up to purchase wine before the concert. (Gary Lambert / Noozhawk photo)