Fredericksburg’s Karen Jonas opens up about her career as a country singer and songwriter, her songwriting process and more.
Why pursue country music?
I didn’t grow up with country music. I was exposed to country music more in my 20s, and it moves me. I love country music, playing it and the sounds associated with the music.
How did you break into the country music world?
I’ve always been a songwriter. When I first picked up a guitar, when I was about 16, I started writing folk songs, so it was just a step from there to writing country. There’s this growing sector of folk country or Americana country music that plays more authentic country music rather than the polished radio sounds heard on country stations. We are part of the movement bringing some authenticity back, some real feelings, words and stories to music that has that country feel.
What is challenging about the songwriting process?
If it’s very challenging, it’s not the right time for that song. I try to write naturally and from a real place. The title track, “Country Songs,” is really about learning to like country music after getting your heart broken.
What impact does recording your album in Fredericksburg have on the album?
I really wanted to make something that would speak to a local sound, how Fredericksburg engineers and musicians sound.
Favorite Musical Inspirations: Dwight Yoakam, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan
What are you listening to right now? Around the house, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac and things I’m familiar with on my record player
Favorite Fredericksburg establishment: The Kenmore Inn, Hooked (boutique) and the Colonial Tavern. (All featured in the “Country Songs” music video.)