Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Caroline Jones is earning her place atop Billboard’s “15 Country Artists to Watch in 2018” list as she joins iconic songwriter Jimmy Buffett on tour and will partner with his Mailboat Records to release her full length album, Bare Feet, on March 30th. She co-produced the forthcoming album with Grammy and Academy Award-winning producer Ric Wake (Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Trisha Yearwood).
We chatted with Caroline last summer, and we caught up with her again, this time via email, to discuss her new full length project, available physically and digitally on Friday, and her touring mate Jimmy Buffett, among other topics. Check out our exclusive interview as we revisit with the stunning singer/songwriter/musician.
Hi Caroline! Thanks once again for chatting with me. I appreciate your time and always glad to support real artists! 🙂 You’re gearing up for the March 30th release of Bare Feet. It’ll be available digitally and physically. Tell us how exciting it is to release the full length album.
I’m thrilled to have “Bare Feet” out in the world and available for my fans and new fans to hear. I poured my whole heart and soul into the creative process, and I believe that passion and energy is present in the music! Having written all the songs, played the majority of the instruments and co-produced this album makes it that much more special and unique.
Did you and Grammy and Academy Award-winning producer Ric Wake co-produce the LP together like the EP?
Yes. Ric is a perfect complement to me creatively. He has so much perspective, knowledge and experience of making records that sound polished yet still spirited and authentic.
Tell us how your partnership/mentorship with Jimmy Buffett came to fruition.
I was invited to open Jimmy Buffett’s “Trying to Reason” Hurricane Relief Benefit in Tallahassee towards the end of 2017. I got to play with Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, and Jake Owen! It was a very special and poignant night, and I had the opportunity to duet with Jimmy throughout the show. We really hit it off. I have admired him from afar for years, and now to call him a mentor and friend is a great honor. We have partnered together for the release of “Bare Feet” and I’ll be touring with him this spring and summer!
You toured extensively last year, including with Zac Brown Band (ZBB). We spoke last August after a rehearsal and you were heading back on the road with them. What was your favorite thing about the tour and what did you learn from ZBB?
Wow. The “Welcome Home Tour” was one of the highlights of my life. My favorite thing about the tour was feeling like as an artist, I was contributing night after night to a tour that inspired and brought joys to hundreds of thousands of people. And to do it while sharing the bill and the stage with my heroes! My biggest takeaways from ZBB: stay creative with your show, stay fresh with your musicality, and super serve your audience – treat them right and give them your heart and soul every night.
Billboard named you one of 15 Country Artists to Watch in 2018. I’d say they’re spot on about that. How does it feel being an independent artist and getting this type of recognition?
It’s hugely validating for me. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum, in music and in business. I only have one life, and I want to live it as authentically as possible. I want to set myself up for sustainability, for long-term creativity, and for greatness. The only way to do that is to be intentional in my choices, creatively and professionally, and to have a deep understanding of who I am and where I want to go. Every time that pays off it is a great confirmation that I am on my path.
Last time you mentioned Shania Twain as a big influence, but who else would you credit as an influence on your music and even the business aspect of things?
Willie Nelson, Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes. I gravitate towards artists that write, produce, play lead instruments and have a vision for their music and its accompanying message. I also love Ed Sheeran, Jacob Collier and OneRepublic.
You inspired more than 150k students on The Heart is Smart School Tour. That must feel humbling to see underserved and charter students react to performing music?
Absolutely! What I learned from performing at the top boarding schools and the most underprivileged schools is that we all have more similarities than differences and we all react to a presentation that feels real, that comes from the heart. I genuinely love performing for students. I am so inspired by the courage and power of youth.
What’s next for you?
Tour! When the album comes out March 30, I’ll begin tour with Jimmy Buffett. We have dates with Jimmy Buffett and The Eagles, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Zac Brown Band this summer. It’s going to be a BLAST!!!!!