July 25, 2002
Earthlink Live!-Atlanta


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Dolly was charming as all get out. You had to love her. Her cartoonish, doll-like look only added to the effect. All night, she giggled, told fascinating stories and, of course, sung some amazing songs. Stripping off the gloss of her '70s and '80s hits with the backing of a bluegrass band was a smart move. Songs like "9 To 5" and "Islands In The Stream" sounded fresh due to the new arrangements. Even if every "ad lib" and word she spoke or sang was on a video monitor, you had to believe her. It may have been acting, but it seemed so perfectly natural and off the cuff.

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It was fun to see the interaction in the audience, too. Drag queens squealed and sang along to "Here You Come Again" and genteel old Southern ladies got teary-eyed during "Coat Of Many Colors." Rumor has it that the lines around the small general admission venue had formed the night before this sold-out show on a rare tour from Dolly. I was glad just to have been there.

(Chris McKay/

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