The Grass is Blue is a bluegrass album by Dolly Parton, released on October 4, 1999 on the Sugar Hill label. It is her 35th studio album. In addition to rejuvenating Parton's then-lagging career, the album, along with the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack and the work of Alison Krauss, is credited with making bluegrass a hugely popular musical genre during the early 2000s. Though the album received little airplay on mainstream country radio, it sold well (peaking at number 24 on the U.S. country albums charts), and was among the most critically acclaimed albums of Parton's career. The album was listed on many critics' year-end "best of" lists and won a 2001 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album.
The songs included a mixture of Parton originals and folk and bluegrass standards, as well as a Billy Joel cover. "Silver Dagger", a late nineteenth century ballad, had been popularized by Joan Baez during the early 1960s. Norah Jones would later record the title song on a 2003 Parton tribute album. Parton had originally written "Steady as the Rain" for her younger sister Stella Parton, who had a top-forty country hit with the song in 1979. "Will He be Waiting for Me" is an update of a song which originally appeared on Parton's 1972 album "Touch Your Woman". The album also includes an acoustic cover version of the Southern rock band Blackfoot song "Train, Train".
There is an alternative cover which features Parton frowning and her guitar resting in a suggestive position.