Karen Joy Brown
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Karen Joy Brown

Sebastopol, California, United States | SELF

Sebastopol, California, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic

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Music

Press


"Her songwriting reflects her life experiences and observations and you do get a sense of conviction from her every time she cocks her head back, crinkles the corners of her eyes and belts out a note into the microphone." - Chico News & Review


"When all was said and done, there were some good performances and there were some great performances. Karen Brown impressed the hell out of me with her song "Thinking of You." Not only was it a great song, but Brown's voice is wonderful!" - Synthesis


Fabulous Junkyard, the subject of Brown's upcoming CD-release party, is an inspired and inspiring collection of eight sometimes poignant, sometimes lighthearted, original songs, and a lovely, reworked cover of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby." Brown's singing voice is singularly heartfelt and soulful, delivering her original lyrics with moving emotional honesty. - Chico News & Review


....Fabulous Junkyard, an all-acoustic, scaled-down collection of tremendously moving songs , where Brown's soulfully saturated musings are left in the forefront. Despite the fact that virtually the entire album is comprised of only acoustic guitars and vocals, the music still maintains a deeply rich quality. "Thinking of you," for example, is the type of song that will bring a tear to your eye, while "Please Don't Go" and "Got to be Another Way" are seeping with fevered passion. - Synthesis


Little Words, the new full-length project from Chico’s Karen Joy Brown, is a satisfying collection that aptly displays the artist’s wide-ranging acoustic palette via voice, strumming guitar and songwriting. Starting off with a crisp and irresistible title track, followed by the equally infectious, mid-tempo “Made for TV,” the aural experience widens as Brown’s voice, a throaty, sultry mix of pop, jazz and soul, harks back to such contemporary jazz vocalists as Linda Tillery and Cassandra Wilson. Elsewhere, the quick, scatty-jazz essence of “De Rien” is followed nicely by “I Know What Heaven Is,” an insightful ballad of perseverance that offers, “It’s the sand that makes the pearls.” Brown’s backing band, the Bona Fides (Chris Wenger on electric guitar and the CN&R’s Christine LaPado adding some fine upright bass passages) enhances the album along with David Silva, who contributes nimble acoustic lead licks plus a song of his own, “Deep Blue.” Brown is back in Chico after a stint in Spain, passionate, reflective and refueled, offering musical messages reflecting life’s lessons she’s learned so far. “Show that small town that you ain’t done yet,” she offers in the encouraging “Daisy,” closing the album with a tender, gospel-tinged “Scarlet Silence,” with its message to “stop and savor every echo in our mind.” - Chico News & Review


Discography

2010-Little Words
2007-Fabulous Junkyard
2005- Karen Joy Brown 3 song EP
2006- Chico Area Music Compilation Vol.II (Chico News&Review)
2007 Upstairs at the Cafe Charity Compilation CD(First St. Cafe, Benicia)
Category Finalist in PSA's Annual Songwriting Contest
Chico News and Review CAMMIES Nominee in the Folk/Acoustic category
KZFR Face the Music
KKUP Wimmin's Music
Spotify, Jango, RadioIndie

Photos

Bio

For the past ten years, singer songwriter Karen Joy Brown has surprised and delighted Northern California fans and media with what the Chico News and Review calls her “deeply soulful voice”. Terre Reynolds of KZFR Face the Music describes her as “having the whole package…..a beautiful voice, can play well, and writes beautiful songs.” But what new listeners invariably attest to is her singular ability to express emotion through a uniquely rich voice.

how it all began.....

Brown discovered cross-cultural interests studying French and Spanish in high school, as well as a love of performing though drama and musicals. Her passion for songwriting ignited when she picked up her father’s guitar at eighteen and continued throughout her studies to become a Spanish teacher. She managed to compile thirty original songs during her first five years of teaching.

what are the songs about?

Literate lyrics demonstrate a preoccupation with philosophical/spiritual issues, love and loss, a deep affection and awe of the beauty in deceptively mundane life, and a wry sense of often self-deprecating humor.

what kind of music is it?

Call it pop/rock for the use of simple chords to deliver a poetic message, folk for performances founded on voice and acoustic instruments, but don't forget overtones of Americana, soul, and jazz in the sensual, sometimes swinging rhythm and vocals. Above all, her music centers on well crafted singing and acoustic guitar while reflecting the influence of an eclectic array of bands from old-school country Marty Robbins, to the Beatles, to‘70’s rock like the Cars or Tom Petty, gospel, the Indigo Girls, not to mention her guilty pleasure of ’80’s music.

recordings?

Efforts to date have produced a three song EP featuring Goodbye, My Beautiful Ocean, her 2007 first full-length release, Fabulous Junkyard, and 2010, Little Words, all available for purchase at live shows, on CDbaby, and on iTunes.

Karen Joy Brown

what's new?

After completing Little Words in 2010, Karen responded to an inner sense of need to deepen skills before powering ahead to more gigs and recording by joining Chico A Capella Community Choir directed by Pedro Douglas of Bethel AME Chico. There the solo singer passed through a boot camp of memorizing dozens of classic spirituals and gospel tunes, and focusing on the art of harmony, blending, and arrangement.

2011/12 brought new project, afternoon bloom, with long-time Chico music scene player, Aaron Lyon, along with Karen's twin sister and recent Portland transplant, Kim Ketner. Local gigs afforded the group opportunity to develop a band sound grounded in acoustic guitar and intriguing vocal harmonies complemented by artistic, effects-tinged leads. Mick Nantell's solid groove on bass and Brian Louge's drumming harnessed and directed KJB originals and covers into new territory.

what's next?

June 2012 marked the beginning of a season of change starting with marriage to guitarist, David Silva, moving to Sonoma county, and jumping back into full-time Spanish teaching at Rancho Cotate High.

Spring 2013 Karen jumped into the vibrant local music scene playing as a duo with husband David Silva adding his agile leads to the set as well as harmonies and a few of his own originals. Summer brings gigs in Sebastopol, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Bodega Bay where you can hear new songs, "Side Step", "Clear Moon Circling," and "Open Eyes," as well newly arranged covers like, "Tempted" from Squeeze.