About Caroline Jones
Singer and songwriter Caroline Jones is a multi-talented artist with a strong background in pop and contemporary folk music, though it was a song aimed at the country market that gave Jones her commercial breakthrough. In addition to her 2011 debut Fallen Flower, her initial efforts were all self-released until the arrival of "Tough Guy" from 2018's Bare Feet launched her onto the U.S. charts and the country mainstream.
Born in New York City, Jones grew up in Connecticut and developed a love of music at an early age. At the age of nine, she asked her parents to enroll her in singing lessons (she was particularly keen on learning how to sing "My Heart Will Go On" like Céline Dion), and she was ten when she wrote her first song. Jones also took piano lessons, and after mastering the keyboard, she learned to play guitar, banjo, and Dobro. She was 16 when she visited Nashville for the first time; she attended a songwriters' night at the famous Bluebird Cafe, and the experience led her to put new focus on composing. She moved to Florida and began studying the compositional styles of country artists she admired, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams. While honing her songwriting skills, she relocated to New York City, and began playing out regularly. In partnership with Stedman Graham and the Sonima Foundation, Jones also performed at schools and colleges as part of The Heart Is Smart, an educational program that encourages young people to use music and songwriting as a means of expression. She also became the host of Art & Soul, a satellite radio show in which she chats with fellow musicians about the art and craft of songwriting. In January 2011, Jones issued her first album, a self-released effort titled Fallen Flower, which was soon followed by Nice to Know You in January 2012 and Clean Dirt in March 2012. The prolific artist released a fourth album, The Heart Is Smart, in September 2012, and several digital singles over the next four years. In 2016, Jones teamed up with producer Ric Wake, who produced the Céline Dion number that inspired her as a girl, among many other credits. Their sessions not only highlighted Jones as a vocalist and songwriter, but showed off her instrumental talents, with her playing all the instruments except bass and drums. One of the first fruits of their collaboration was "Tough Guys," a song about a woman's empowerment in a male-dominated world; it was released as a single in October 2016, and quickly attracted a following via satellite radio and online play. "Tough Guy" turned Caroline Jones into one of country music's rising stars, and she reached new audiences as she toured as an opening act for the Zac Brown Band. Her appearance at a hurricane benefit concert put her in contact with Jimmy Buffett, who liked her style and signed her to his Mailboat Records. Mailboat released Jones' fifth album, Bare Feet, in March 2018; she co-produced the set with Wake. The effort was her first to chart on Billboard, landing in the Top 20 on the Heatseekers, Independent, and Country Sales lists. The following year, she issued the EP Chasin' Me. ~ Mark Deming