Country Music Roundup: Dolly Parton raises ‘millions’ in Smoky Mountain telethon

This Week’s News

Dolly Parton isn’t done helping the victims of the Smoky Mountain wildfires.

Dolly Parton performs at the Erwin Center on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

Dolly Parton performs at the Erwin Center on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

After she set up the “My People” Fund that will donate $1,000 a month from her Dollywood theme parks to every family affected by the disaster, Parton hosted a three-hour telethon Tuesday night in Nashville to raise more money for the victims.

More: Dolly Parton’s ‘My People’ fund announced to help victims of Smoky Mountain fires

According to Time, the goal for the telethon was $13 million, and Parton said the end total was in the “millions” by the end of the telethon. The event featured performances from Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Cyndi Lauper and more. Officials estimate the fires have caused $500 million in damages.

“We are mountain tough,” Parton said. “They have to be tough. You have to be physically tough, you have to be emotionally tough, and you have to be strong. People have to scrape their living out of the soil in a lot of ways.

That’s why it is so important because all of these people, even though they are not blood kin, they really do feel like my people.”

To donate, go here.

This Week’s Best New Song

Time to get into the holiday spirit. Musgraves’ voice seems tailor-made for Christmas music. Her ability to add a twinge of melancholy to a hopeful sentiment is perfect for the average listener who might get too bogged down by the unrelenting happy spirit of most holiday tunes. Like “Merry Go Round” or “Silver Lining,” her take on “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” is hopeful yet firmly rooted in reality. And if you’re looking for more of the same, “A Very Kacey Christmas” is a fantastic Christmas album.

This Week’s Worst New Song

Waterloo Revival is an Austin-based duo that was once signed to Big Machine and is now signed to Toby Keith’s Showdog Records. Their first full-length EP, “Front Row,” flirts with some bro-country tendencies, but none moreso that new single “Backwood Bump.” Full of timed drums, hand claps, enough banjo to let you know it’s country, flip-flops, beer, “hey girls” and “pretty mamas,” this song sounds like it was manufactured in a radio exec’s lab circa 2013. Which is fitting, since Siri sings some of the lyrics. (Sample: “Ok, it’s time to freak.”)

This Week’s Best Country Show in Austin

Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis

Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis

Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison are coming to the Paramount Theatre Saturday night at 8 p.m. to celebrate the last stop on their 2016 Holiday Shindig Tour. They’ll be joined by none other than Lee Ann Womack. Here’s wishing you and your kin plenty of “Okie Christmas” and “I Hope You Dance” singalongs.

This is the Country Music Roundup, a weekly blog where we’ll give you the latest news in country music releases and local country shows. For a more in-depth analysis of the genre and where it’s headed, check back with our weekly Gone Country blog every week.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know on Twitter @jakeharris4 or by email: jharris@statesman.com.

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