January 9, 2024

Watch The Petersens Nail Dolly Parton’s Classic Track “Jolene”

On July 2, 2019, the American bluegrass family band from Brandon, Missouri, called The Petersens, posted their second-ever video on their YouTube channel. It was a cover of the classic Dolly Parton track “Jolene.” According to the description box, they filmed it in Katie’s living room (one of the four siblings in the band) with Aaron Clark as their videographer. 

At the time, their subscriber count was at 482. However, it didn’t take long for people to recognize their talent. As of writing, they have close to 800 thousand subscribers, and their “Jolene” cover has been viewed 23.5 million times!

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

A quick starter on The Petersens. This talented family band consists mainly of the Petersens, mom Karen, and her four children, Katie, Ellen, Matt, and Julianne. They are also joined by a family friend named Emmett Franz. Katie’s on the fiddle, Ellen on banjo, Matt on guitar, Julianne on mandolin, Karen on bass, and Franz on dobro. 

For the Dolly Parton cover, they had Ellen as lead vocals (which changes depending on the song they’re covering), with Katie and Matt doing harmonies. 

The song started with Franz’s very distinct dobro play, followed by Ellen, Katie, and Matt singin’ “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene.”. It was Dolly Parton’s all right, but The Petersens definitely owned the song, too. 

RELATED: Dolly Parton’s Jolene: The Fascinating Story Behind The Song

Ellen then swept everyone away as soon as she started on the first verse. Then, at the chorus, Ellen was once again joined by Katie and Matt. They also added instrumental solos at the end, giving everyone their time to shine – especially Mom, who silently killed the cover with her bass at the back. That distinct touch on the arrangement elevated it even more. 

As one commenter described the performance, it was perfection. “From the arrangement to the perfect time and driving rhythm, the reprise, instrumental solos, and lead and harmony vocals. The slide guitar riffs are just amazing. The mix is just right, too. Perfection. Hats off to you for an amazing performance of a great classic song.”

It is definitely one of the best – if not the best cover of the country classic. So, if you haven’t seen The Petersen’s whole performance of “Jolene,” you can catch it below. Enjoy!


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