Dolly Parton remains a singing marvel at 77, sounding clear and strong on a new rendition of her ’60s hit “The Last Thing on My Mind” that will appear on the upcoming Doc Watson tribute album I Am a Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100. The project salutes the beloved folk musician who would have reached his centennial on March 3.
Also appearing on I Am a Pilgrim are Rosanne Cash, Valerie June, Bill Frisell, Steve Earle, Yasmin Williams, Jeff Parker, Corey Harris, and Marc Ribot. The album will be released on April 28 by FLi Records / Budde Music and was executive produced by musician/composer/author and longtime Watson associate Mitch Greenhill alongside Matthew Greenhill and Peer Steinwald. Matthew Stevens also produced.
“Doc Watson is everyone’s hero and a great guitar player. Some say he is the absolute best, and I was honored to get to work with him a few times in my career,” says Parton, who had a top 10 country hit with “The Last Thing on My Mind” in 1967. She also performed it with Watson in 2001 at the annual MerleFest.
Along with the National Medal of Arts, Watson won multiple Grammy awards, including 2004 Lifetime Achievement honors. Bob Dylan once was quoted as saying of Watson that “the fellow can play the guitar with such ability… just like water running.”
Blind since infancy, Watson gained renown during the early ’60s folk revival with his traditional mountain songs and virtuosic guitar playing. Ralph Rinzler, the folklorist who brought him to prominence in 1960, told the New York Times: “He is single-handedly responsible for the extraordinary increase in acoustic flat-picking and fingerpicking guitar performance… His flat-picking style has no precedent in earlier country music history.”
I Am a Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 tracklisting:
“Shady Grove” – Jerry Douglas
“The Last Thing on My Mind” – Dolly Parton
“Am I Born To Die” – Nora Brown
“Alberta” – Jeff Parker and Matthew Stevens
“Make Me a Pallet” – Steve Earle
“I Am a Pilgrim” – Rosanne Cash
“Florida Blues” – Jack Lawrence
“How Long Blues” – Corey Harris
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” – Ariel Posen
“Handsome Molly” – Valerie June and Bill Frisell
“Doc’s Guitar” – Yasmin Williams
“Little Sadie” – Chris Eldridge
“Reuben’s Train” – Lionel Loueke
“The Lost Soul” – Marc Ribot
“Your Lone Journey” – Bill Frisell