It’s been nearly five decades since Dolly Parton first released “Jolene” and she’s giving her fans a chance to make their own mark on her beloved single. Using the hashtag #JoleneChallenge, Dolly is asking the public to share their best versions.
This family took her up on the challenge it seems they were born to make music.
This family from Branson, Missouri has produced one of the standout performances from the many who took the #JoleneChallenge.
Every member of the family has picked up an instrument to create a down-home Americana band. Siblings raise their voices in the iconic chorus and it’s a perfect example of sibling harmony. When brothers and sisters grow up together singing, they have an extra special vocal connection that some have called blood harmony.
Not only are their voices in line but they each have a special spotlight with their instruments of choice.
The Petersen family shows us how it’s done with this powerful cover of ‘Jolene’.
This award-winning family bluegrass band takes on the historically popular Dolly Parton song in the #Jolene challenge and it doesn’t get much better.
At the beginning of the video, The Petersen’s stand in their living room with their instruments in hand, before they start playing the melody of ‘Jolene’ together.
With their instruments strumming the song, their brilliant voices come shinning through.
Not only are The Petersens masters of their instruments, but they also have angelic voices that would light up any room. Singing “Jolene” really showcases their talents and it’s no doubt why they took the internet by storm.
Who better to play music with than the people you grew up next to? In the band from Branson, MO, is mother Karen Petersen(bass), Katie Petersen(fiddle), Julianne Petersen(mandolin), Matt Petersen(guitar), Ellen Petersen(banjo), and Emmet Franz(dobro).
Just under a minute into the video, Ellen on the banjo breaks into a vocal solo. Her voice is mesmerizing.
Ellen is also the director of marketing for the band, she sings the words to ‘Jolene’, while simultaneously playing her banjo. After the first verse, brother Matt and sister Katie come forward to join Ellen for the chorus.
You can see Emmet on the unique dobro, plucking away to the distinctive progression of the song.
Emmet is known as one of the most accomplished dobro players in the country, a bluegrass instrument that is a rarity in modern music. He’s also the only non-biological member of the band and toured professionally with his own family band, The Franz Band, for 20 years.
After the chorus, Ellen takes back the microphone to sing the second verse in ‘Jolene’ and her voice is impressive.
The youngest of the family is Julianne and she can be seen playing the mandolin. She can’t help but smile as she fingers the tune as her family creates an impressive cover of the Dolly Parton classic.
At the time of its release, the song was nominated for two Grammies, but didn’t win until 43 years later. Parton won the Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance when the song was covered by Pentatonix in 2017. Parton was featured on this cover version.
Dolly Parton would be proud, this family definitely does her classic song justice. Toward the end of the performance, the Petersens hit notes that even the most accomplished singers find challenging. Their enthusiasm as a band is from another level, I guess that’s what you get when you’re playing with your family!
At the end of the video, the whole band kicks it up a notch and lets loose on their instruments for quite the spectacular jam.
For the grand finale, the camera goes from instrument to instrument as each member plays vigorous solos. Including a beautiful solo from the youngest member, Julianne, on her high pitched mandolin.
The internet went crazy for the Petersens version of ‘Jolene,’ over 14 million people have viewed the video, with 250k liking it.
To see the exceptional performance for yourself, watch the video below!
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