Every so often, you should do something that completely takes people by surprise. Whether you date someone outside your normal type, jump out of an airplane or swim with sharks—who cares as long as it’s something that no one expects from you. In Stella Parton’s case, she’s just released Resurrection, a new dance album that remixes several of her previous songs, along with a couple new ones.

Yes, that Stella Parton. More than Dolly’s little sister, Stella Parton is not only celebrating the release of Resurrection but also her upcoming Red Tent Women’s Conference, scheduled to take place in Nashville April 18-20.

I sat down with Stella and her personal assistant at the Pinewood Social Club over on Peabody last month to talk about her new album as well as past and future projects.

“I just wanted to have some fun,” Stella admits about the record’s origins. She says it was “divinely given” to her and she wanted to do it because it was fun for her to try on a new persona. Hoping to travel and perform in clubs across the US, Stella promises that she’ll never have the same hair twice. In fact, Stella says, “My hair’s gonna be so jacked to Jesus there’ll be an angel choir singing backup”.

When asked if she was trying to do something similar to Cher, Stella got downright giddy. “I’ve always loved Cher and Tina (Turner). I would be honored to be mentioned in the same breath with them. They are true originals and two of my favorite artists.”

The tracks collected and remixed on Resurrection  make a seamless transition from their country-pop roots to the dance floor. “Saving My Love” haunts with its dark beat—a far cry from the upbeat, guitar-driven bounce of the original. But in the same listen, the remix sounds like the song was meant to be this way.

Stella is no stranger to genre experimentation. At first, I was skeptical because here’s the only person I’ve ever known as both a Country and Christian artist, but when I asked her about her being a Christian artist, she was very quick to correct me. “I don’t know where that rumor got started, that I was a Christian artist. I have recorded inspirational tracks, but I’ve never truly considered myself a Christian artist.” I was quite surprised by this, but she then started talking about how most of the people she has ever been hurt by have usually done it under the guise of religion.

She’s even taken several steps to keep the upcoming conference out of a religious context. Initially the project was going to be called “The Red Tent Revival” but Stella says she wanted it to be more about women’s empowerment than about church. Thus, “The Red Tent Women’s Conference.”

Sitting down with Stella was like watching a master class. She is incredibly brilliant and such a firecracker. She quoted her sister, “Dolly always says, ‘don’t ask Stella what she thinks, she’ll tell ya!’” And I have a feeling from the hour I spent with her, that’s every bit of the truth.

Resurrection is currently available  on Stella Parton’s website. 2014 event /tour appearances will be posted soon. Connect with Stella Parton on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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