Playing a Parton

Laying down tunes: The resemblance isn’t immediately clear, but the members of this Dolly Parton cover band have a little Dolly inside of each of them.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

If you want Dolly Parton, a Brooklyn band has got her covered.

The positive, down-to-earth wisdom of the legendary (and still very much active — check her Facebook for updates) pop singer has inspired four young performers to assemble the Doll Parts, a Dolly Parton cover band.

But instead of having one singer play the role of Queen of Country Music, the whole band is hollering her hits, like the bluegrass classic, “I Feel the Blues Moving In.”

“The great thing about this group is we don’t have a single Dolly,” band member Shane Chapman said. “We’re all Dolly.”

And they’re not just singing pop-hits karaoke-style — these performers embrace the storytelling nature of county music, riffing off the themes common in Parton’s music, like perseverance, and forgiveness.

In one performance, Shane Chapman admitted he had gotten his girlfriend’s car towed — and then proceeded to sing “Please Don’t Stop Loving Me.”

But this cover band isn’t satisfied with being the premier “Jolene”-singing band performing for Brooklyn’s not-so-country-savvy audiences, who know Parton more for her figure than her tunes.

They want the audience to call Tennessee their mountain home, as well.

“When you include the audience, which is a major part of our show, it gets them really into it and feel like Dolly,” Maggie Robinson said. “We’re building a Dolly community.”

In addition to encouraging listeners to sing-along, Doll Parts has also connected parts of pop music from other genres with Dolly’s music to make it more relatable to listeners who aren’t well versed in country, such as their version of Dolly’s “9 to 5” to the music of Destiny’s Child.

Also in attendance will be The Gentlemen Callers, a band that is known for playing 1960s country classics. The combination of these two bands has the Doll Parts thinking no one can afford to miss this lineup.

“Bring your boots and your sparkle, because it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said a fellow Doll Parts singer, Julia Sirna-Frest.

Doll Parts at Union Hall [702 Union St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 638–4400, www.unionhallny.com]. Aug. 16, 7:30 pm, $7.

Doll parts: (Left to right) The premier Dolly Parton cover band is made of Shane Chapman, Julia Sirna-Frest, Maggie Robinson, Kate Marvin, and Ricky Watts.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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