The first two episodes premiered Monday, and featured Leslie Jordan and Dolly Parton.

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Reba McEntire at The 53rd Annual CMA Awards
Credit: Taylor Hill / Contributor/Getty Images

Tours may be postponed, our favorite musicians may be spending a lot more time at home, and life sure looks different than it did pre-Covid, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new and exciting things to entertain us. In fact, one of our favorite Southern celebs has just premiered a brand-new podcast for our ears’ delight. Living & Learning with Reba McEntire debuted this week, exclusively on Spotify. McEntire recently spoke with Southern Living and told us all about it.

“Well, we were planning on the podcast, we were thinking about it last year and then started it this March. And then the pandemic happened,” she said. Just like the rest of the world, McEntire’s plans came to a halt. Her tour was pushed back, as were the special appearances she had planned for Brooks & Dunn’s Vegas residency. “So, we were very delighted to have the podcast to work on. And it’s been a lot of fun. Instead of everyone in person, of course, now we’re doing Zooms but it’s been educational for me.” McEntire and her podcast partner in crime, Melissa Peterman, team up with a rotating cast of celebrity guests and experts to discuss in each episode to discuss a different topic.

The first two episodes that were released this week tackle the topics of friendship, and forging your own path and weighing in on those things are two very familiar voices to us—Leslie Jordan and Dolly Parton. “Leslie was so funny. The things that he talks about and the things that he does on Facebook every day is hysterical. And he’s so humble and so frank. That could have been three episodes right there, just with Leslie,” McEntire recalled and then she did her best Leslie Jordon impression, “How y’all doing?”

Jordan is on the episode dedicated to friendship and we find that so appropriate since he has become everybody’s quarantime best friend through his daily social media posts. He sums up his advice on the podcast by saying, “It’s just like your mama said. ‘Honey, to have friends, you’ve got to be a friend.’”

And speaking of friends, Reba and Dolly, the two leading ladies of country music who need no last name identification, have been friends for decades. But there is always more to learn from Parton, of course. That’s why she takes center stage on episode two of Living & Learning.

 “The thing about Dolly is, she is so witty and so funny, and so smart and so giving, that when you do get a chance to sit down and talk to Dolly, that’s all you do. You want to let her do all the talking. So, she got to rattling off these one-liners that she does. Like ‘never ignore your roots, your home, or your hair.’ And another one that I love, ‘a loose tongue can lead to broken teeth,’” McEntire recalled with a laugh. But she also touched on the positive impact that Parton has had beyond the stage. Between her Imagination Library that gives the gift of reading to children, to Dollywood providing jobs for so many in east Tennessee, her home, “She never stops helping. She’s a very smart lady,” she said about her friend.

While filling us in on the new podcast, McEntire also let us know how she’s been keeping busy and staying sane in this strange time of Covid. “I loved raising a garden this year. So, cooking out of my garden has been a lot of fun. I got to ride my horse more than I have in a long, long time. And just being out in nature.You know, walking the creek, looking for rocks. But television has been great too. Thank God for Netflix and Hulu and Amazon and Apple TV.”

She also reflected on the lessons of this difficult time. “Well it’s allowed me the opportunities to be still more. And to appreciate the slower things that usually when you’re busy, you don’t even acknowledge much less give the time of day to. But to be able to walk the creek and be able to look for heart rocks or just to sit in the middle of a creek in an aluminum chair and have a picnic. Things like that would not have happened had we not had the Covid pandemic and the quarantine. It’s just making things that are simple the priority in your life. You just absolutely slow down and enjoy and relish it.”

Check out Living & Learning on Spotify today for more wise words from Reba.