This might come as a surprise to most people, but the most famous tribute to country legend Dolly Parton comes from Whitney Houston. The 1995 mega-hit "I Will Alway Love You" also known as the theme song from The Bodyguard was originally penned and sung by Parton in 1974. That's right: The warble-y, mountain soprano known for her enormous fake boobs and sequined attire wrote her own songs, many of which were tinged with folk storytelling. Parton is still the most successful female country music artist ever, and any band performing at Conor Byrne's tribute night has some big, high-heeled pumps to fill. Melancholy alt-country band The Starlings might lack the same upbeat tempo as Parton's songs, but vocalist Aimee Zoe Tubbs could tackle "Just Because I'm A Woman" with the same sadness and pride that Parton does. The real challenge for anyone would be a cover of "9 to 5," the song that won Parton an Academy Award and became an anthem for working women. Not even Houston's vocal range could match the energy of Parton's songwriting. It takes a real woman to pull it off.
Sat., Jan. 17, 9 p.m., 2009