“If music was a lottery, then Karen Jonas hit big. But this is no fortune to be chocked up to sheer luck. The toil, the heart that Karen Jonas put into this music and this record is eminently palpable. And it is not just the result of talent, but talent honed and refined through cutting self-criticism, study, discipline, and work. This music starts with a girl, her guitar, her stories, and her demons. Similar to Justin Townes Earle in the way she plays the guitar in a hybrid of the clawhammer banjo style—a plucking with her thumb and then striking the strings with the nail side of her fingers—shows a refined study of her instrument, not just a rudimentary running through of chords while letting the words tell her story, with no sense of style to match up with the mood. This musical approach exacerbates the lead-heavy, almost unbearable tension that Karen is able to instill in her music. Her music aches like a broken heart; heaves and creaks like the boards of an old wooden floor und”
“Karen Jonas is story teller, a song writer and a singer who is getting ready to release her debut album “Oklahoma Lottery” on March 21, 2014. The ten song set is a collection of upbeat shuffles and bluesy ballads that showcase Jonas’ ability to transport her listeners to another time and place. The first single, “Suicide Sal” finds Jonas as a member of an outlaw gang that has been on the run for three years and on the verge of being caught at any moment. The song is the perfect example of Jonas’ ability to use a three minute song to create a cast of characters and a plot that draws the listener in, almost as if they were reading a novel.”
“Oklahoma Lottery is Karen Jonas’ first solo record and she is going to work her way up to a place at the bar among a very crowded field of country-rock women. Karen Jonas has a knack for writing barroom ballads. Her songs about gangsters, ne’er do wells, and down and outers will make you want to buy someone a drink. You’ll tap your foot despite yourself. You’ll want to commiserate with her about her lost loves even while you back away slowly.”
"Karen Jonas' moody twang effortlessly swings from sultry ballads to high-speed two-step, backed by a veteran band with deep roots. It's hard to believe this glossy record didn't come from Nashville, let alone humble Fredericksburg."
“One of the best local singer-songwriters just keeps getting better”
“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.”