If you’re like many country music fans these days, you’re probably wondering where all of the real country music went. While you won’t hear much of it on the radio, there are several artists operating outside of the Music Row establishment who are making country that’s true to the spirit of the genre. Fredericksburg, Va. native Karen Jonas is one of them.
Jonas’ new record, Country Songs, comes out later this month, and today we’re premiering one of the best tracks ahead of the release. Jonas records and performs with her lead guitarist, twang master Tim Bray. “Ophelia” showcases both of their incredible talents. Jonas has a Bakersfield-inspired sound and a voice drenched in country heartache. Bray picks his guitar like country greats Jerry Reed and Scotty Moore. On “Ophelia,” they both shine.
Jonas says Shakespeare’s tragic character of the same name inspired the lyrics of the song, which has become a crowd favorite at her shows.
“I don’t much care for reading Shakespeare, but Ophelia captured my imagination,” says Jonas. “She’s an innocent bystander – the victim of a plot she’s hardly involved in – and her ultimate demise into a shallow pool of madness seems both tragic and avoidable. So I wrote “Ophelia,” a big sister’s firm shake and wake-up call to Ophelia, to myself, and to friends that I’ve seen let a relationship take their best and give nothing back.