Country icon Dolly Parton has released a brand-new recording of the decades-long favorite “The Last Thing on My Mind.”
Written by American folk singer-songwriter Tom Paxton in the early 1960s, Parton’s original version was released in 1967 as her debut duet single with Porter Wagoner.
Parton also performed the song with the legendary Doc Watson at 2001’s MerleFest. Named in honor of his son, Merle Watson, who died in a tragic farming accident in 1985, multiple Grammy winner Doc Watson hosted the annual music festival prior to his passing in 2012.
"Doc Watson is everyone's hero and a great guitar player,” said Parton. “Some say he is the absolute best, and I was honored to get to work with him a few times in my career.”
Born in Deep Gap, North Carolina on March 3, 1923, Doc Watson would have turned 100 this year. And in honor of his 100th birthday, a new album celebrating the highly influential guitarist, singer and songwriter is set for release on April 28.
In addition to Parton’s “The Last Thing on My Mind,” I Am a Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 features contributions from an array of musicians including Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, Valerie June, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Jerry Douglas, Yasmin Williams, Jeff Parker and many more.
Watson’s enduring legacy reaches far and wide, and I Am a Pilgrim comprises vocal and instrumental tracks performed by a suitably diverse range of artists.
Featuring a host of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, Grammy Award winners and recipients of other prestigious accolades, I Am a Pilgrim sees Watson’s work interpreted not only by folk and bluegrass musicians but also by blues, jazz and experimental rock artists.
Track/artist list is as follows:
- “Shady Grove” by Jerry Douglas
- “The Last Thing on My Mind” by Dolly Parton
- “Am I Born to Die” by Nora Brown
- “Alberta” by Jeff Parker & Matthew Stevens
- “Make Me a Pallet” by Steve Earle
- “I Am a Pilgrim” by Rosanne Cash
- “Florida Blues” by Jack Lawrence
- “How Long Blues” by Corey Harris
- “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” by Ariel Posen
- “Handsome Molly” by Valerie June & Bill Frisell
- “Doc's Guitar” by Yasmin Williams
- “Little Sadie” by Chris Eldridge
- “Reuben's Train” by Lionel Loueke
- “The Lost Soul” by Marc Ribot
- “Your Lone Journey” by Bill Frisell
Pre-order I Am a Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 here.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.