Country Songs

by Karen Jonas

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Purplemule74
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Purplemule74 The album gets stronger from track to track - looking forward to seeing what she does next.

Ordered the LP and shirt, and Ms. Jonas sent me a polite note that the record was on the way and provided me a CD while I was waiting. Very polite and appreciated.

Now a dedicated fan & sharing her work with others. Favorite track: Why Don't You Stay.
Bill Goodman
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Bill Goodman This is about as country as you can get while adding a little swagger of rock to the mix here and there. This is a fine example of country music done right. Karen's voice soars much higher than Icarus was ever able to. This should be on everyone's must have list.
James Williams
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James Williams In this second album Karen adds new musical layers to her songs while keeping everything I already love about her songs, especially the great storytelling.
Jason Quentin Teeter
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Jason Quentin Teeter I have been waiting for this record for a while, Karen and Tim continue to amaze with an excellent second album. Listening to this now, I cannot convey my excitement as I hear each new track. Love this. Favorite track: The Garden.
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about

Born, raised, and recorded in the heart of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Karen Jonas's Country Songs is a celebration of music made outside the machine - of songs written in her living room, captured live in the studio just down the street, and sent out to see where it stands in the big, wide world. Releasing October 14, the album is a collection of character, talent and tenacity.

Country Songs is a refreshing mix of classic sounds with new, head-turning country swagger. At times defiant, celebratory, or pining, Country Songs remains intensely personal. It is crafted to be focused on - perhaps alone, while sipping whiskey on a quiet evening - for poetry, story, and nuance. The layered fiddle, steel, and organ are the stage upon which Jonas's stories shine, with collaborator Tim Bray's lead guitar acting as a spotlight. The swanky, two-steppin' title track professes a love of the Bakersfield sound (and Dwight Yoakam's jeans), born out of heartbreak. It isn't quite serious, but isn't quite tongue-in-cheek. "Wasting Time" adds a softer side with a timeless tale of love that won't disappear, while tracks like "Ophelia" and "The Fair Shake" show off the talents of twang-master Bray's big orange Gretsch.

Recorded live in the studio, the collection encompasses both the vibrant local music community surrounding Fredericksburg, as well as the dynamic live feel that Jonas and Bray have spent nearly three years honing while on the road supporting the release of 2014's Oklahoma Lottery. The critically acclaimed album was praised by Rolling Stone Germany, Farce the Music, Saving Country Music, Twang Nation and Country Perspective, among others.

In a time when the country music genre is complicated by competing definitions, Jonas weighs in strongly with her own version of what country music should be. Country Songs may be the self-made duo's showcase of a local sound, but the collection has them poised to take a bow on an international stage. Maybe they'll ask Dwight Yoakam if they can borrow a pair of his jeans.

credits

released October 14, 2016

All songs written by Karen Jonas
except The Garden, music by Eddie Dickerson and lyrics by Karen Jonas

Karen Jonas (acoustic guitar and vocals)
Tim Bray (electric guitar)
Jordan Medas (bass)
Jason Cizdziel (drums for The Garden, Wandering Heart, Whiskey and Dandelions, The Fair Shake, Yankee Doodle Went Home)
Jack O’Dell (drums for Country Songs, Keep Your Hands to Yourself, Ophelia, Wasting Time, Why Don’t You Stay)
Jay Starling (lapsteel, electric piano, organ)
Eddie Dickerson (fiddle)
Recorded and Engineered by Jeff Covert at Wally Cleaver’s Recordings Studio, Fredericksburg Va.
Mastered by Bill Wolf at Wolf Productions Inc

Photography by Amber Renée Photography
Album art by Erin Bray

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about

Karen Jonas Fredericksburg, Virginia

Karen Jonas’s intensely personal songwriting first grabbed national attention with the release of her critically acclaimed 2014 debut album “Oklahoma Lottery.” Three years of non-stop touring with her guitarist Tim Bray have produced a smoldering live act that’s left audiences breathless across the country, culminating in their much-anticipated sophomore release “Country Songs." ... more

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Track Name: Country Songs
Country Songs

When I was young I never cared for country songs
and the honky tonks they all seemed strange to me
but honey since you’ve gone now I realized I’m wrong
gotta get your heart good and broken before you sing along

So thank you for teaching me to love country songs
for making me so sad I wanna sing along
when I hear that fiddle start I can dance all over my broken heart
and I hardly care that you don’t love me like you used to do
no I hardly care that you don’t love me like you used to do

You’ll never understand me like Buck Owens does
and I’ll never love you quite like I love him
where’s your fancy suit in technicolor blue
you wouldn’t win a fight not with a single Buckaroo

You’ll never understand me like Dwight Yoakam does
and I’ll never love you quite like I love him
with his hat down in his eyes honey please don’t even try
it’s a miracle the way he wears his jeans tighter than mine

So thank you for teaching me to love country songs
for making me so sad I wanna sing along
when I hear that fiddle start I can dance all over my broken heart
and I hardly care that you don’t love me like you used to do
no I hardly care that you don’t love me like you used to do

So boys bring out the guitar and the mandolin
we’ll have another round and then we’ll start again
I know you’ve done me wrong and you’ve already moved on
but thank you for teaching me to love those country songs
thank you for teaching me to love country songs
Track Name: Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Don’t worry I’m taking back my heart
you don’t look like you would take good care of it at all
well I can take a hint you don’t need to rub it in
because I’m already moving on

I’ve been down a road like this before
I over-commit, I fall on my face right in front of you on the floor
don’t bother trying to help I can get up by myself
and find my way to the door

So don’t worry about me well I’ll be fine
but you should keep your hands to yourself next time
if that’s how you wanna be
just because I wanted you doesn’t mean you can make a fool out of me

Hey can’t you find a better way to let me down
Yea give it to me straight instead of running around
walking right by like we never met
I slept in your bed boy or did you forget
no I don’t have the time to sit and wait
you’ve already done enough damage today
I thought you meant more than just being friends
that was my mistake it won’t happen again

So don’t rub it in when it already stings
can’t you stand to be polite boy have some decency
my days are hard enough I don’t need you playing rough
and making trouble for me

So don’t worry about me well I’ll be fine
but you should keep your hands to yourself next time
if that’s how you wanna be
just because I wanted you doesn’t mean you can make a fool out of me
yea just because I wanted you doesn’t mean you can make a fool out of me
Track Name: The Garden
The Garden

Take me back again to your mother’s home
where once I laid my head
in the yellow grass twenty years ago
the earth the earth was our bed

It was there between my body and the sky
you moved like Babylon
your mother’s voice from so far away
was only heard by the stars

I was seventeen you were twenty one
the harvest moon has come and gone
the cold fell in with the setting sun
but we had fire of our own

Hands like birds in November
bodies bare as the branches above
your mother’s voice from so far away
was only heard by the stars

No I don’t recall much of what you said
as twenty years takes a toll
when we meet again in that garden
I know our love will be whole
Track Name: Ophelia
Ophelia

Ophelia sweetheart come sit down there are important things I have to say
I know you love him honey but you can’t let him treat you this way
when a man calls you a whore go on and find the closest door and walk out
go home maybe take a cold shower but baby don’t let him make you crazy

Well I heard you singing bawdy songs you’re howling at the moon
don’t even think of going swimming ’til you’ve leveled out your moods
you might have a hard time until you find someone new
but you’re a clever girl I know that there’s a better man for you

I know that you decided you’re in love I can see it in your eyes
and logical thinking and reason can fall by the wayside
so pay attention hey I wouldn’t lead you astray
this won’t end well if you keep moving this way and baby don’t let him make you crazy

Well I heard you singing bawdy songs you’re howling at the moon
don’t even think of going swimming ’til you’ve leveled out your moods
you might have a hard time until you find someone new
but you’re a clever girl I know that there’s a better man for you

So take a deep breath Ophelia take a deep breath
you know it isn’t that bad, no it isn’t that bad
go on and take a deep breath Ophelia take a deep breath
you know it isn’t that bad, it isn’t that bad

Ophelia sweetheart come sit down there are important things I have to say
I know you love him honey but you can’t let him treat you this way
I don’t know if it’s to be or not it hasn’t happened yet
but honey didn’t you read Romeo and Juliet
when things start getting messy you better keep a level head
and baby don’t let him make you crazy
Track Name: Wasting Time
Wasting Time

Wasting time with you I’m always wasting time
giving too much away and you take and you take
and you take

But I’m holding on I’m holding out for love
I’m holding on I’m holding out for you
I don’t know what else to do
believe me I tried to forget you

I give with you I always give
there’s something that you need and I swear it could be me
it could be me

But you don’t know I don’t know how but you don’t know
I’ve stopped trying to say but I feel like I should tell you everyday

That I’m holding on I’m holding out for love
I’m holding on I’m holding out for you
I don’t know what else to do
believe me I tried to forget you
but I still love you
I still do

I’m holding on I’m holding out for love
I’m holding on I’m holding out for you
I don’t know what else to do
believe me I tried to forget you

Wasting time with you I’m only wasting time
Track Name: Wandering Heart
Wandering Heart

What should I do when I’m lonely and you’re gone
believe me baby I don’t wanna do you wrong

But baby why would you wanna leave
me here in this tiny town of thieves
I’m yours when you’re here loving me
but I got a wandering heart and you got wandering feet

There’s a new bar in town I’ve been waiting to see
and there’s a couple guys been calling on me

So baby why would you wanna leave
me here in this tiny town of thieves
I’m yours when you’re here loving me
but I got a wandering heart

Please don’t blame me
but I get awful lonely
I wanna do the right thing
I promise I’m trying
can you tell me

What should I do when I’m lonely and you’re gone
believe me baby I don’t wanna do you wrong

Oh baby why would you wanna leave
me here in this tiny town of thieves
I’m yours when you’re here loving me
but I got a wanderin heart and you got wanderin feet
I got a wanderin heart and you got wanderin feet
Track Name: Whiskey and Dandelions
Whiskey and Dandelions

Well I don’t have money but I wish I did
I’d buy a little house where we both could live
we’d never give a dollar to the banks again
I don’t have money but I wish I did

But I don’t worry and you don’t mind
I never had use for the nine to five
spent all day Tuesday looking in your eyes
I don’t worry and you don’t mind

Sing a little love song
hold me like you can’t get enough
I’ll be June and you be John
we won’t notice the days go by
ten years in the blink of an eye
silver morning to golden night
we won’t notice the days go by

Don’t buy me roses or bring me wine
I like cheap whiskey and dandelions
give me love and give me time
don’t buy me roses or bring me wine

Sing a little love song
hold me like you can’t get enough
I’ll be June and you be John
we won’t notice the days go by
silver morning to golden night
we won’t notice the days go by

I don’t have money but I wish I did
I’d buy a little house where we both could live
we’d never give a dollar to the banks again
I don’t have money but I wish I did
Track Name: Why Don't You Stay
Why Don’t You Stay

You’re gonna go like you come so sweetly
but too quickly for me
I got a body of gold and a mind of steel
but my hearts a china plate that you will break

Why don’t you stay why don’t you say what you mean
how could you love me and still leave
Why don’t you stay I’ve got a home to keep
so do you want the open road or do you want me

It’s seven o’clock and the ghosts come knocking
It’s a party it’s Saturday night
but you’re only here to say goodbye
imagine my surprise I don’t think I heard you right

Why don’t you stay why don’t you say what you mean
how could you love me and still leave
Why don’t you stay I’ve got a home to keep
so do you want the open road or do you want me

I’ll just let it go sweep it under the rug
leave me the skeletons of our love
I’ll just let it go sweep it under the rug
It’s only the skeletons the sweet remains of our love

Why don’t you stay why don’t you say what you mean
how could you love me and still leave
Why don’t you stay I’ve got a home to keep
so do you want the open road or do you want me
Why don’t you stay you can’t have everything
so do you want the open road or do you want me
Track Name: The Fair Shake
The Fair Shake

There ain’t no easy way there ain’t no fair shake
and all the things you think that you deserve aren’t really yours to take
All the people that you know are only finding their own way
be gracious if you can and when you can’t let em walk away

There’s more power than you know in letting go
there’s more ways to solve a puzzle than you think
I’ve been chasing down these dead end roads
for as long as I remember
and tracing my steps back til I’ve got blisters on my feet
I’ve been working til I’m tired but I still can’t seem to keep
the lights on

There ain’t no easy way there ain’t no fair shake
and all the things you think that you deserve aren’t really yours to take
all the people that you know are only finding their own way
be gracious if you can and when you can’t let em walk away

I don’t wanna fight with you anymore
you are not mine I am not yours
and I’m sorry I lost sight
of the chasm that divides us
even pressed right up beside you
you were miles and miles and miles away

There ain’t no easy way there ain’t no fair shake
and all the things you think that you deserve aren’t really yours to take
all the people that you know are only finding their own way
be gracious if you can and when you can’t let em walk away

There ain’t no easy way there ain’t no fair shake
and all the things I think that I deserve aren’t really mine to take
all the people that I know are only finding their own way
be gracious if I can and when I can’t
I’ll let him walk away
That’s the hardest part
To let him walk away
Track Name: Yankee Doodle Went Home
Yankee Doodle Went Home

Yankee Doodle went home
about 4 or 5 years ago
he couldn’t keep it up anymore
how long’d you expect him to go

I heard his pony got tired
after seventeen years the pony laid down and died
Yankee Doodle bought a Ford
and drove it up to New York

But the girls don’t like his hands
no he never was a handy man
when the juke box stopped
Yankee Doodle couldn’t make it work again
it doesn’t matter even if he could
he couldn’t dance

There’s hard luck going ‘round
Yankee Doodle had to get out of town
but with his pony gone his Ford got a flat
and there’s Yankee Doodle with a feather in his hat

On the side of the road
thumbin down truckers like old Tom Joad
but the trucks don’t stop he don’t wanna walk
so Yankee Doodle sits down and waits for better luck
but it never comes no it never comes

He looks down at his hands
no he never was a handy man
never tried too hard when things get broke
he’s not trying to fight with how things go
but there he’s sitting on the side of the road
and that’s no way, no
you gotta get up and go

So Yankee Doodle went home
about 4 or 5 years ago
he couldn’t keep it up anymore
how long’d you expect him to go
well he couldn’t keep it up anymore
so Yankee Doodle went home