‘You Ain’t Dolly (And You Ain’t Porter)’ Ashley Monroe and Blake Shelton With A Little Country Relief – Review


I’m not sure whether this song is intended to be Ashley’s
follow-up to ‘Like A Rose’, but I can certainly see it being a single at some
point if not the next one to be released. The song, as the title suggests, is a
tribute to the greatness of Dolly Parton and the late Porter Wagoner, who
played a huge part in launching Dolly’s legendary career through his equally
legendary nationally syndicated television show. Their seven years of duets won
several CMA Awards and they had many chart-topping hits, before Dolly decided
to leave and explore her opportunities outside Porter’s TV show.

So who better to sing about when it comes to a
tongue-in-cheek duet song, that brings the song’s characters back down to
reality, with great lines such as “she’s a little bit fuller, and you’re a
whole lot shorter” and “I’m the reigning queen of… karaoke night”. It’s an
amusing storyline that any couple can sing to each other (perhaps drunkenly),
and have a good laugh, acknowledging their wishes to be the great Dolly and
Porter, but also seeing where they fall very short. I think, despite his recent
comments about ‘old farts and jackasses’, Blake was actually a great choice to
sing with on this one. He delivers it well, with a cheeky smirk that really
puts his parts across well, his sense of humor being his most famous
(infamous?) personality trait.

The song is simple, both lyrically and musically, and
retains the same musical grounding most of the way through, harking straight
back to the sound and era that Dolly and Porter were singing in, late Nashville
Sound/Countrypolitan. In fact, apart from obviously sounding a lot cleaner than
the older recordings, it could well have come from that era, and I was
impressed with the ambition to keep the song firmly within that era without an
attempt to ‘modernize’. Characterized by a twangy electric guitar sound (of
course!), and a smooth but dynamic fiddle line joining the guitar solo, with
plonky piano filling in the verses. It does seem strange that Blake would
choose to sing this kind of song after the comments he made, and perhaps I
would go as far as to say hypocritical, considering his claim “nobody wants to
listen to their grandpa’s music”. Well, this IS people’s grandpa’s music now,
just about. So why would you make a recording you don’t think anybody wants to
listen to?

Ashley’s performance is, of course, flawless, and at times
her floaty tremolo reminds me of Dolly, with Blake although perhaps falling
short of the great Porter, at least having the same tone of voice. Perhaps
that’s why it works so well, in my opinion.

I really hope this gets released as a single, as I think
country radio could do with a healthy dose of traditionalism, and the ‘kidz on
the street’ these days could get a taste of what great country music sounds
like. After all, I started off listening to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood
when I was young, and now I love this, so perhaps exposure is key to knocking
some country sense into people and showing them what’s out there. As a huge
Dolly fan myself, I love this song. It’s great fun and a wonderful tribute that
I’m sure if Dolly has heard she approves of.

You can pre-order Ashley Monroe’s new album ‘Like A Rose’ here (released tomorrow, March 5)
and you can listen to ‘You Ain’t Dolly (And You Ain’t Porter) with Blake
Shelton here:


Posted by Vickye (Guest Writer).
If you want to check out my own blog
it's For The Country
, and you can follow me on
twitter @planmymistake. You can email
me at vickye.countrymusic@gmail.com


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. schsab@hotmail.com'
    S Smith

    Why didn’t you review ‘Like A Rose’ – single & album as a whole, which reflects a lot more of who Ashley is, & what her music is all about?? This one song serves only to show her sense of humor & appreciation of tradition. People need to know more of what the ALBUM is about & this song is not a good representation!

  2. Vickye

    I have already reviewed the single ‘Like A Rose’ elsewhere, months ago. An album review is to come. This song was released as a promo and has been receiving a lot of hype and press.
    I don’t know what your problem is seeing as I gave it a very positive review?!

  3. Vickye

    And in case you haven’t noticed, the album was yet to be released when I posted this review. If you have a problem with Ashley singing neo-traditional music, then that’s your issue not mine. I think this song is great and so does everyone else.

Comments are closed.