Dolly Parton's Second Bluegrass Venture Sparkles

Strong reissues from Waylon & Willie also highlight country releases.

Dolly Parton leads this week's country new releases with her second album of bluegrass music for Sugar Hill Records, Little Sparrow.

Also out this week are re-releases of two classic albums teaming country legends Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, as well as a new installment in the Pickin' On series from CMH Records, featuring the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Little Sparrow is the follow up to Dolly Parton's 1999 release, The Grass Is Blue, continuing her exploration of the bluegrass music that enchanted her in her youth.

The Grass Is Blue was named Album Of The Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and the new album features more of the all acoustic music that made that first release such a hit.

The album contains Parton originals, such as the title track (RealAudio excerpt), classic bluegrass songs and some grassed up covers, including a version of Cole Porter's "I Get A Kick Out Of You" and Collective Soul's "Shine" (RealAudio excerpt).

There are 14 tracks in all, recorded with a full cast of acoustic musicians on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo and bass, plus guest appearances from Alison Krauss and Altan, all on a release that looks set to further cement the country legend as a renowned bluegrass artist, as well.

Also due out Tuesday, January 23, is Pickin' On Stevie Ray Vaughan, yet another addition to the voluminous Pickin' On bluegrass tribute series from CMH Records. It is the series' first tribute to Vaughan, the late blues legend who died in a 1990 helicopter crash while on tour. Past editions have included rootsy interpretations of the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, Neil Young and the Grateful Dead.

Musicians on the album include Dennis Caplinger, Kenny Blackwell, Tim Crouch, Dennis Crouch and others, on renditions of Vaughan songs including the hit "Tightrope" (RealAudio excerpt of original), "The Sky Is Crying" and "Superstition."

Finally, this week sees the reissue of two duet albums from Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, one of the most successful country music collaborations of all-time. The 1978 double platinum debut, Waylon & Willie, featured two #1 hits, including the seminal cut "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys" (RealAudio excerpt).

The duo's 1982 follow-up, WWII, achieved commercial success due, in large part, to the solo efforts of both Jennings, whose "Theme from 'The Dukes of Hazzard' (Good Ol' Boys)" was a hit with television viewers, and Nelson, whose "Always On My Mind" roped in an American pop audience. Those tracks weren't included on this album, but WWII does include a cover of the Otis Redding smash "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" amongst its 11 tracks.