A country girl from the city; that’s how I’d describe Caroline Jones, a 27-year-old singer/songwriter from Connecticut who found her groove in music just 10 short years ago in Nashville, Tennessee.
Caroline’s first EP, “Bare Feet", hits the streets next week. To learn a little more about the record and the artist behind it, we spent some quality time with Caroline. We took a hike through Radnor Lake State Park on a hot summer Wednesday, snagging some new-EP promo shots and talking music, ionized water, and cancer research (an eclectic gal). But most importantly, Jones talked about her blooming career in country music...barefoot all the while, of course.
Growing up listening to classic rock and R&B, Caroline started her musical career early as a young and ambitious independent artist. When she was 17 years old, she took her first trip to Nashville where she unexpectedly fell in love with country music. But not because of the boots, hats, and southern accents. Caroline’s adoration for the world of country goes way beneath the surface.
She revealed a refreshing angle of passion for the genre of country music, one that gives her depth and respectability as an artist, and saves her a place on the artists-to-watch list.
“I dint realize there was an entire genre of music and a community of people built around what I love,” Caroline said. “It’s the story telling aspect, it’s authenticity- someone who can capture your heart with just their voice and a guitar.”
Caroline said she loves country music for what it stands for. While building her career from the ground up, she focuses hardest on authenticity, honesty, and craftsmanship- that means making music that’s not exactly cookie-cutter country. Although those are goals that most artists work towards, she feels that country music is the genre that strives to keep them in the forefront.
“It’s so easy to try to fit in a box,” Caroline said. “But if you really study the history of country music, all of the people that we call heroes today, they didn’t do that at all. That wasn’t what their art was about.”
Her music, which fits in the new-age country/pop range, is flavorful and well-rounded. Caroline joins many new country artists who are branching out, experimenting with genres within genres; she describes her new record as having “the punch of pop with country instruments.” Her range of musical ability is on display in the record as she played multiple instruments and wrote all of the lyrics.
“Bare Feet”, which was co-produced by herself and Ric Wake (Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Trisha Yearwood), is a six-song EP that reveals Caroline’s spunk and originality with a wide range of song types.
“Tough Guys” is the one that screams girl power and confidence while “Country Girl” slows it down to Memphis roots and childhood memories. “Bare Feet”, the title track, brings the perfect mix of airy pop and country sentiment.
“I’ve tried to take the character and the essences of country and focus on authenticity,” Caroline said. “And that’s what I’m about, 100 percent. So, if that’s country, then I’m country.”
Caroline will join the Zac Brown Band on tour this fall in promotion of “Bare Feet”. The EP, available for pre-order on iTunes now, will release on Friday, August 25, with a full album to follow next year.
Photo Credits: @AustinWho for 901Music