Fredericksburg-based artist Karen Jonas has been accused of beating her dad’s old Cortez acoustic guitar. Sometimes, the song requires it. But most of the time, Karen's rhythmic thumb-and-strum style just keeps the audience rapt and hanging on her every word. She's currently putting the finishing touches on her first official solo album (expected release date: March, 2014). The album features a rocking Alt-Country/Americana band, though you might also catch her solo or accompanied by Tim Bray on a hollow-bodied Gretsch.
Until 2009, Karen was best known as a highly skilled folk singer-songwriter with a quieter finger picking style and a soaring vibrato, who'd been singing her whole life in choirs and honors choruses, and embraced acoustic guitar on first hearing Joni Mitchell's Miles of Aisles. Moving to Fredericksburg in 2009 had a noticeable influence on Karen's writing and playing. Then a partnership with Alex Culbreth in 2011 led to a critically acclaimed CD under the name The Parlor Soldiers. When The Dust Settles featured drums, bass, and electric guitars alongside the acoustics. The experience left Karen with a desire to build excitement to new levels at her shows, and she began using a more aggressive sound to deliver the goods.
Karen's new album showcases a full band conjuring up the dusty old west and features boot-stomping originals that just might stomp your heart in the process. Her sultry vocals have some fans swearing she's stolen their hearts all the way from the stage. If you want to know how that works, you'd best come to a gig.
Were you looking for more routine “fan” info about Karen?
Has Opened For:
Kelly Robison and Bruce Willis, Shane Alexander, Chris Knight, Jeffrey Lewis.
Influences and Admirations:
Justin Townes Earle, Gillian Welch, Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen.
Lives in Fredericksburg, VA, caring for two beautiful young daughters.
The music of Karen Jonas smolders...with a novelist's sense of detail and storytelling, crisp songwriting and a voice ripe with emotion, Jonas brings gritty Americana in an accessible wrapper. It has been my honor to feature her music on The Folk Show on WPSU fm.
- Jim Colbert, WPSUfm
One of the best local singer-songwriters just keeps getting better
-Jonas Beals, the Free Lance-Star
“I first saw Karen when she was still in school, when she opened for my group at the old College Perk in 2006. Her playing and singing won me over instantly. Her songwriting was stellar even back then, and she's only gotten better. I believe that before she's done, she'll leave her own indelible mark on Virginia's Country and Americana scene.”
- Glenn Fink, Producer of The Parlor Soldiers CD, When The Dust Settles