Jack White loves his hometown of Detroit. Having been recently awarded an honorary doctorate by Wayne State University for his contribution to his city, we thought we’d look back at one very special performance and one very special song. Watch Jack and Meg White take on Dolly Parton’s timeless classic ‘Jolene’ from back in 2001.

Jack White may now be as close as the rock world gets to a music mogul, with countless projects through music with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and his solo work not forgetting being the head of Third Man Records but he started in rather more humble beginnings. He started by thrashing his guitar like nobody else had really done before. In 2001 he was honing his craft with The White Stripes – those unstoppable red and white juggernauts.

By this time the band were beginning to find their feet internationally and with the release of White Blood Cells in 2001 they had started to set roots as the somewhat deranged guitar heroes of the garage revival scene. Jack and Meg, a simple duo of guitar and drums, had the ability to create a sound nobody thought possible between just two people. Meg’s pounding drums were always matched by the crunching, twisted pageantry of Jack’s guitar.

Listen: Jack White covers Blondie on rare cassette from the 90’s

His ability to create weird and wonderful noises from his guitar that would scare a mammoth set the scene alight. To then couple that with tracks like ‘Fell In Love With A Girl’ and ‘Hotel Yorba’ which showed that this band understood and delivered the storytelling of good music. They had the power and they had the poetry.

No better is this shown than on the band’s beautiful cover of Dolly Parton’s classic song ‘Jolene’. A cover which would become a part of the band’s live set and would offer the first glimpse of White’s love affair with Americana and country music.

White effortlessly conveys the yearning and desperation of the protagonist while still adding his own deranged flair for the dramatic. White is full of rage and burning hearted love and with every lick of his fretboard he gently serenades the audience. That is, before switching to the buzzsaw fuzz of a broken-hearted man threatening to burn your house down with his eyes.

Quite simply put, if you ever think Miley Cyrus has the best cover of ‘Jolene’ you’d be oh so very wrong.

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Oh, I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him even though you can
Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green
Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your skin is soft like summer rain
And I can not compete with you, Jolene
And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene
And he talks about you in his sleep
There’s nothing I can do to keep from
cryin’, when he calls your name Jolene, Jolene
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him even though you can
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him even though you can
I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene
And you could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
Cause he’s the only one for me, Jolene, Jolene
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Oh, I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him even though you can
Jolene, Jolene

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