Dolly Parton at Ravinia- August 7th, 2016

“Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Delights Ravinia”

By Christian F. Scalise

Country music icon and global superstar, Dolly Parton brought her latest “Pure & Simple” tour to the beautiful Ravinia Park in Highland Park, Illinois on Sunday August 7th, 2016. Parton’s sold-out Ravinia appearance was truly long overdue; her last visit was August 4th, 1993.

Twenty-three years later, not a whole lot has changed with the now 70-year-old legend. She still maintains her sharp wit, unique style of southern flair, backwoods comical repertoire, petite Barbie doll physique and is still as sexy as ever, plus she really knows how to get the crowd on their feet!

The Ravinia Festival is one of the finest venues in the Chicagoland area and proudly holds the title of being the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States. It’s ambient lighting, elegant atmosphere and state of the art sound made for the perfect evening for Dolly’s grand return.

Welcomed by thunderous applause and the first of many standing ovations during the night, Parton took the stage at 7:30pm wearing a jaw-dropping white pantsuit strapped with a rhinestone encrusted acoustic guitar over her shoulder, both shimmering as she graced every inch of the stage.

Die-hard fans that have been following Dolly’s numerous tours over the past twelve years which have featured elaborate staging, lighting, production elements and costume changes will be thrilled to witness the beloved star in a more intimate, personal and stripped down setting, very reminiscent of the hometown shows at her Dollywood theme park.

Although the grandiose productions were well received and enjoyed by concertgoers in years past, they really aren’t necessary because Parton’s unmistakable and larger than life persona outshine them all.  

Dolly’s Pure & Simple tour is just that; authentic, pure and extremely simple, including her three-piece band and carefully-crafted set list.

Richard Dennison, Kent Wells and Tom Rutledge brought their seasoned talents as musicians and Parton’s set list chronicled some of her greatest hits and treasured classics. There were so many wonderful songs on the set list, that Parton broke the show into two segments by taking a brief intermission with a costume change.

Always known for being a real conversationalist on the stage, Parton told the audience how thrilled she was to be out performing this new show. She went on to explain where the concept for the show came from, shared plenty of stories and fond memories from her career in the music business.

Expect to hear staples from Parton’s career such as “Jolene,” “Coat Of Many Colors,” “Here You Come Again,” “9 to 5,” and “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” plus classic and rarely performed gems “The Seeker,” “Precious Memories,” “Those Memories,” “Applejack” and “Rocky Top.” Dolly also debuted a selection of songs from her new album “Pure & Simple,” which will be released on August 19th, 2016.

On top of all that great music, we almost forgot to mention that Dolly managed to impress all by performing on multiple instruments throughout the night; guitar, banjo, dulcimer, harmonica, piano, penny whistle and saxophone.

Dolly closed out the night with her mega-hit “I Will Always Love You.” She also sent a shout out to her publicist Kirt Webster of Webster Public Relations, who celebrated his birthday that night.

Be sure to catch Dolly Parton’s “Pure & Simple” tour when it comes to a city near you. It is a must see concert of the year. Out of all the tours Parton has done in the past decade, “Pure & Simple” truly showcases her Appalachian roots in an introspective way and ranks as her finest tour to date.

Set List:

1. Hello Dolly

2. Train, Train

3. Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That

4. Jolene

5. Pure & Simple

6. Precious Memories

7. My Tennessee Mountain Home

8. Coat Of Many Colors

9. Appalachian Memories

10. Applejack

11. Rocky Top

12. Banks of the Ohio

13. American Pie

14. If I Had A Hammer

15. Blowin’ In The Wind/Dust in the Wind

16. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

17. The Seeker/I’ll Fly Away


18. Baby I’m Burnin’

19. Outside Your Door

20. The Grass Is Blue

21. Those Memories

22. Do I Ever Cross Your Mind

23. Little Sparrow

24. Two Doors Down

25. Here You Come Again

26. Islands In The Stream

27. 9 to 5


28. I Will Always Love You

Get the latest news and tour dates for Dolly via her official website: