Music News 12/16/2020



Dolly Parton, A HOLLY DOLLY CHRISTMAS (Butterfly, $17.98) – Dolly Parton never stops: her many recent projects include: Dolly Parton Storyteller, her new deluxe book about the origins and genesis of her songs; an original musical on Netflix (Christmas on the Square); and her new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, with guests like Willie Nelson and Miley Cyrus, singing classics and originals. But her most important gesture was Dolly’s $1 million contribution to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for COVID-19 vaccine research. Long live Dolly Parton. 

Loudon Wainwright III, I’D RATHER LEAD A BAND (Search Party, $13.98) – Loudon Wainwright III sings some of the most iconic hits (and some of the lesser known gems) from the 1920s and 1930s. And he’s backed up by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, experts in crafting that swinging sound. Two Fats Waller songs lead the way, as well as “Ship Without a Sail,” “The Little Things in Life” and “How I Love You (I’m Telling the Birds, Telling the Bees)” among others. A very fun project. 

Listen to an interview (and performance) with Loudon and Vince on NPR’s Fresh Air

Dave Brubeck Quartet, TIME OUTTAKES (Brubeck Editions, $17.98) – 2020 is the centennial year of pianist Dave Brubeck (1920 – 2012). His classic quartet with Paul Desmond, Eugene Wright and Joe Morello recorded one of the iconic albums in jazz history, Time Out (1959). Now, the Brubeck estate has issued previously unreleased takes from these sessions. You’ll hear the band working out classic tunes like “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” “Take Five,” and “Cathy’s Waltz.” 

Read Giovanni Rusonello’s article on this release in the New York Times. 

Paul McCartney, MCCARTNEY III (Capitol, $14.98) – Recorded during the pandemic, Paul goes back to the days of home recording, as in his first solo album, McCartney (1970).