Jones talks about becoming a first-time mom and more

Country singer-songwriter Caroline Jones has released her third studio album, Homesite. The album showcases a wide range of unique influences from country to pop to bluegrass and highlights Caroline’s journey up until now, with themes of resilience and grit, and arrives at a time when she is gearing up for her next chapter of life as a first-time mom. As an artist who writes her own lyrics and plays the majority of the instruments in her songs, she can give your readers an inside look at her craft and how mentors like Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown Band have influenced her.

Caroline Jones, thank you for chatting with us again. You’ve had some big news since we last spoke back in.

I have. Yes. Thank you. Currently, eight months pregnant as of yesterday.

Oh, wow. So you’re, you’re gonna be due here any day now?

Next month or two. Well, yeah, technically, hopefully, I have two months. Technically, you’re supposed to give birth around 40 weeks, and I’m 32. So that’s two months. So let’s just hope the bun cooks in the oven until I finish the tour.

Speaking of touring, you have a big tour coming up headlining five dates of your Barefoot and Pregnant Tour.

Yes, and then I’m also simultaneously continuing the tour with Zac Brown through early November.

How’s the double duty going while pregnant?

It’s been wonderful. I’m really lucky! My team and I have carefully curated the schedule to be as manageable as possible during this process and we’ve been planning the release of this album all year, so we did a lot of leg work on the front end. I’m just so grateful to my team. [My publicist] is on [this chat], so she knows how much work has gone into this, but it’s been a wonderful experience. I mean, it’s definitely — I can notice now the natural third-trimester tiredness is coming on and all that stuff. So, just trying to take care of myself and, and ho hopefully all all goes well and I can make it to the end.

Do you know what you’re having or is that what you want to keep you?

No, we’re gonna be surprised.

Are you hoping for one or the other or does it matter?

No, I don’t think it matters. I don’t think it matters and even if you kind of want one or the other, then you get the other thing and you can’t imagine your life any other way. So, it’s just, it’s just up to God.

Oh, absolutely. The last time we spoke was back in the spring, and you had just released your Superpower EP. “Normal Person, “Lawless,” and “Keep It Safe” were on there and now we’re talking about the full Homesite album available now. The album also has those songs along with a “Million Little Bandaids” with Zac Brown Band. Tell us about that collaboration and the full 11-track album.

I call this record Homesite because it’s about building, it’s about continuing to build a career and a fan base that I’m really proud of. You know, this is my third record now, and building a family and a home, a next chapter for the first time in my life, and then building grit and resilience, which are big themes on this album that run through most of the songs. If not all, ‘Million Little Bandaids’ is a perfect example of the themes of grit and resilience lyrically how they come to life on this record. But this record is really about, specifically ‘Million Little Bandaids,’ is about being like having the courage to open up your heart.

‘Million Little Bandaids’ is about healing some of your defense mechanisms and some of the kind of more unhealthy patterns that we put in place to cover up our hearts and protect ourselves and ultimately, all they do is disconnect us from other people. And so ‘Million Little Bandaids’ is about having the courage to open that up again. It’s a song that is a very deep kind of philosophical song and Zac resonated with it. I’m so grateful to have the Zac Brown Band on it because it’s been a long time coming to have an official collaboration with them on one of my projects and I’m so glad it was on this song.

Is that a song you guys will also be performing on the tour together?

Yes, we have performed it on the tour, and we’ll be continuing to perform it on the tour. So I’m very excited and honored that it gets that uh that platform.

We’re talking about From The Fire Tour that runs through the fall. Was this your first album where you actually had um creative control?

No, not really. I feel really lucky. I’ve had creative control for really my whole career. It’s been very important to me, to own my master’s and to be in the driver’s seat creatively, and I, I really owe that to Rick Wake, my co-producer and business partner. I would say this, this record is an extension of that. Certainly. I mean, I wrote every song except one and I co-produced it with Rick Wake, who’s my longtime co-producer. We also brought in Brandon Hood as another co-production credit, and he lent a really wonderful fresh sound to this record. So, no, I would say it’s an extension of my, of my previous work.

That’s rare these days that artists get that type of control when they get to own their masters. Usually, labels obviously do that. But I think we’re in this environment now where a lot of artists when, when saying that are working out deals where they get to own their masters, but still get the distribution and benefits of being with a major label, so I think that’s really important.

I’m seeing more and more of that, too. I think that’s great that artists are able to finally have that control. We’re lucky to be standing on the shoulders of a lot of artists who have come before us who didn’t have that creative control and did really struggle with the business and being taken advantage of. We owe a lot to them and their bravery and speaking out and trying to make those changes so that I as an artist can come forward and own all my masters. That’s not as rare as it once was or that’s not unheard of. And again, I’m just really lucky, I’ve had people who have invested in me in every way — I don’t mean just financially, I also mean, believing in me and believing in my vision.

It takes a lot of conviction and back to the themes of great and resilience because it’s. It’s a lot. The thing about owning your own career and driving your own ship is, it’s a lot of onus on you and responsibility on you, and not every artist has a business mindset, you know. We all need a support system. I happen to love the business aspect of it and I want it to be really cohesive with the rest of my career. I see the way that I release music, from the marketing to the distribution, I see all that as an extension of my creativity, so for me, I really enjoy it.

I can tell you enjoy it by watching you on stage and watching your videos. It just seems like you have a lot of fun doing that.

Thank you. Thank you. I really do.

Is the album going to be released on [Jimmy Buffett’s] Mailboat Records?

No, it won’t. So this album, we did a distribution deal with Empire. They’re fantastic. I’ve been using them um since last year, but obviously, Mailboat Records has a special place in my heart — especially a special place in my heart. Now that Jimmy’s passed, I’m so grateful to their team for our time with them and for the records that we put out together.

It seems like he was kind of a mentor to you. Would that be a fair statement?

One hundred percent. I mean, I owe the career that I have to Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown, for sure. They took me under their wing, gave me a platform in front of their fan bases on big tours, big stages, and Jimmy signed me to a distribution deal, took me on tour, wrote a song for me called ‘Gulf Coast Girl’, and mentored me for for many years. He was one of a kind. There will never be another, and I’m just very, very blessed to have been in his orbit.

How are you uh personally handling his passing? It’s been a month now.

I would say personally while we all miss him, and it’s a sad reality of the circle of life, I mostly feel this intense gratitude and amazement, awe that I got to know him and that I got to be in his orbit and I got to see him operate up close and personal and that um he touched my life in such a deep way that will forever stick with me. I’m not unique in that he touched millions of people’s lives and tens of millions of people’s lives whom he never met. It’s the meaning of being an artist to be an inspiration and a leader, and that’s what he was and is.

Zac Brown Band opened for The Rolling Stones and even performed as part of Dolly Parton’s band for her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last year. What did that feel like?

Oh, my gosh, that was so surreal, Buddy. I mean, I was actually just looking at videos of it the other day and I just see myself on stage with Dolly Parton, Annie Lennox, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen. It’s just the wildest, it’s the wildest thing I’ve ever seen like it makes no sense. It’s just one of those times where you go, ‘How did I get here?’ You know, ‘How am I actually here on this stage?’ And again, I just owe so much to my mentors. I owe so much to Zac Brown Band, the opportunities and the gifts that I’ve been given through being invited into their inner circle and hopefully being able to contribute something to their music and their band.

It’s a bucket list, dream stuff opening for The Rolling Stones. It’s surreal, you can’t believe it, and I just feel really lucky and I try to work my butt off and, and do justice, the opportunities that I’m being given and just to be touched by those legends and those mentors, it means so much to me. I try to really soak it up and have a great reverence and respect for those kinds of opportunities and being in the presence of that kind of greatness.

Well, you definitely deserve it. Glad to see that. You’re able to get your music transcending more than just country music and, like you said, The Stones and airing on HBO and everywhere with Dolly. Is there anything else that you would like to add that I didn’t touch on?

I just like to say how excited I am and how proud I am of this record Homesite. It’s kind of my offering before I go off and start a family and then it’ll be a whole another chapter of new music and new inspiration. I’m just really proud of the creative evolution and the sonic evolution that’s shown on this record. I think it captures how I’ve grown as a musician these past few years playing the Zac Brown Band and continuing to build my own fan base on the road. I’m excited for these Barefoot and Pregnant shows. [Playing] The Troubadour [in Los Angeles] will be a big deal. That’s an album release show and that’s a bucket list venue for me, so I’m very excited for that on October 19th.