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You haven’t heard ‘Jolene’ until you hear Dolly Parton with Pentatonix

Smooth as silk.


Monica Riese


YouTube’s pop-infused a cappella pros Pentatonix are returning to their roots.

The quintet’s three original members—Kirstie Maldonado, Scott Hoying, and Mitch Grassi—hail from the northern Texas town of Arlington, and a Cracker Barrel-sponsored cover of “Jolene” with septuagenarian singer-songwriter Dolly Parton is about as Southern as it gets. (Parton originally hit the top of the charts with the single in 1974.)

The resulting arrangement is considerably more tame than some of Pentatonix’s signature pop-centric remixes, popularized by their run on season 3 of NBC’s The Sing-Off. But the booming bass of Avi Kaplan is still a driving force, punctuated by Kevin Olusola’s vocal percussion and a mid-track clapping breakdown that puts Hoying and Maldonado in the driver’s melodic seat.

And somehow, the 20-somethings’ sartorial choices pair just as smoothly with Parton’s style as their voices do.

The Daily Dot