Tag Archive: Josh Thompson


It’s our pleasure to welcome back Karen Waldrup to HorizonVU Music. We’ve been following Karen for a few years now and today we’re excited to talk to her about Midtown Violets. Midtown Violets is Karen and Rocky Mountain Woman Ashlee K Thomas. Although they are from very different parts of the country (Louisiana and Utah), they make music and tour out of Nashville, TN. As Midtown Violets, Karen and Ashlee have played over 500 live shows nationwide and are known for their tight blend of harmonies and an interactive show that brings people to the edge of their seat. They have shared the stage with Gloriana, Josh Thompson, Sara Evans, Rodney Atkins, Alana Davis, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Terri Clark & Joe Diffie. Their unique perspectives and collaboration allow them to constantly grow musically. They combine violin, guitar, and two fabulous voices. Their sound has been described as the Dixie Chicks meets Alanis Morrisette.

Midtown Violets_006HVUM: Karen, it’s a real pleasure to be talking with you. Last time you were with us you had released “With Love, Karen” (2009). You were touring and recording on your own. Obviously a lot has happened…Give us a rundown on the highlights!

KW: In 2009, I released ‘With Love, Karen’ which was a personal diary type album that talked about choosing music over my military love and signing my album ‘With Love, Karen’ as if the listener was reading my diary. In 2010, I released “Karen Waldrup” self-titled which were songs about New Orleans and more of a rocking country record. In 2011, a magical opportunity came my way to be on Bravo TVs ‘Platinum Hit’ as a songwriter and it gave me the exposure I needed to quit my day job and take a leap of faith at music. Without the help of my dear friend at the time, Ashlee K Thomas, I don’t know that I would have had the fire in me to get where I am today. We were just friends that both loved music. And it slowly & naturally turned into a musical duo.

HVUM: So, Midtown Violets was born in 2011. Give us some background on the collaboration. How did you meet up with Ashlee. What made the sparks fly? What convinced you two that it was time to do serious work together?

Karen Waldrup

Karen Waldrup

KW: Artist Ashlee K Thomas and I were friends for 2 years before considering teaming up. When I quit my day job, she was ready to embark on a tour too. It was my first tour ever, but she had toured in the west for years and came to the table with knowledge about touring that I did not know. Neither of us had really tapped into the southeast touring region where our first tour developed. The tour routed itself naturally with help from booking agent Rachel Futch and the efforts of both Ashlee and I. It started with a show in Hot Springs, AR and a show in Madisonville, LA. We just needed to connect them somehow.

We never meant to merge our music at all. In fact, we each went on to release another solo record- Karen Waldrup’s “The Beginning” May 2012, and Ashlee K Thomas “Just got Started” 2013. We kept writing on our own and recording on our own because we were such different acts. It was not until November 2012, when I found out that my ex boyfriend from the military was engaged to be married. When I lost him forever, I realized the last thing I ever wanted to do was lose Ashlee in my life and music forever. I was very fortunate that she was in the same place in her life- wanting to merge her violin, guitar and harmony singing skills with another

Ashlee K Thomas

Ashlee K Thomas

act. We were both on the same page and decided to create a country duo project that’s purpose was to spread joy through live music across the southeast. We came up with a name, a geographical target region for touring and then started writing our new album “Don’t Give Up” in January 2013. Every song was written or co-written by the 2 of us. Ashlee was the fire behind the creative process of the record. She kept pushing us to keep writing- even when I thought we were done writing. When I was happy with songs, she challenged me to keep writing with her so that we could develop more of a Midtown Violets sound. She was right. The 7 song album is exactly what Midtown Violets is. It’s a female country duo that sings about meaningful adult like topics like- “Don’t Give Up” – encouraging others to never give up on their dreams the way we haven’t given up on ours.

HVUM: Joint efforts can be tricky. Is there any one factor that really stands out in working with Ashlee?

KW: Ashlee K Thomas is a laid back yogi that feels music from an internal place and follows the heartbeat of music throughout her life. She works hard in everything she does and believes in being considerate of others and aware of her surroundings. I am a songwriter that loves to push the business aspect of music from running a business to networking to staying organized. If either of us were the same, we wouldn’t both be needed. It’s because our strengths are so different, both on and off stage, that we are able to successfully run a touring business. We never really argue about tasks because we typically are drawn to opposite ones. The things she finds challenging and fun I think are a headache and vise versa.

HVUM: Joint efforts can be tricky. Is there any one factor that really stands out in working with Ashlee?

KW: Ashlee K Thomas is a laid back yogi that feels music from an internal place and follows the heartbeat of music throughout her life. She works hard in everything she does and believes in being considerate of others and aware of her surroundings. I am a songwriter that loves to push the business aspect of music from running a business to networking to staying organized. If either of us were the same, we wouldn’t both be needed. It’s because our strengths are so different, both on and off stage, that we are able to successfully run a touring business. We never really argue about tasks because we typically are drawn to opposite ones. The things she finds challenging and fun I think are a headache and vise versa. There have been many times where I’ve thought “Thank God Ashlee is so good at that task because I would have never done it if it wasn’t for her” -Karen Waldrup

HVUM: Now, we’ve been following your music and in particular, “Single Girl”. You’ve done well with that single.

KW: We were in the studio working so hard on the new album, but we wanted to give the fans an exciting, fun, joyful single. “Single Girl” is such a fun song about letting go and being free and we felt it was parallel with our free spirit on the road. It is a single that lives on it’s own. We gave it away to fans “free” as an effort to get folks excited about the 2014 record and also collect emails for the release of our new album. “Single Girl” is a good enough song to live on it’s own as a single…forever. We felt it could live on it’s own. It’s so fun to play live!

HVUM: Super! Great performance and great band! Now, you have a new release out today “Don’t Give Up”! Give us your take on the release. What’s it about? Is there a message you want to get across with this release?

KW: It seems that something inside all of us talks us out of following our dreams and going after that one thing we’ve always wanted to do. If it’s not something within, it’s someone else telling us that our ideas are silly and to play it on the safe side. Midtown Violets believe that no matter how hard the journey may be and how many times we get told “no”…we “Don’t Give Up”. We want to encourage others to do whatever they feel called to do in this life. If we do what we love whether it’s opening up a new business or trying something risky like touring this country, we are bound to succeed.

Ashlee is a huge fan of the book The Alchemist written by Paulo Ceolho. I am currently reading it and enjoying it! The idea behind the book is that if you go after your personal legend, than you are bound to succeed. We are going after our dream and have found that no matter how many obstacles get in the way, we are bound to succeed because we are meant to. Our mission with this album in 2014 is to tell other people they can do the same. If you’re following your “personal legend”, than the Universe wants you to succeed. We have really found that to be true! It’s unbelievable how people support people that are following their dreams.

HVUM: We’d like to let our readers in on another video – “10,000 Angels”.

HVUM: So who worked with you both in and out of the studio? Any special people you’d like to mention?

KW: Tyler Cain with Cain Productions is the producer of this album and he is hands down one of the most talented men either Ashlee or I have ever met. He has toured with Big & Rich, Thompson Square and more and has produced records for country acts Steel Magnolia and my dear friend Jordan Pruitt from Disney which told me about Tyler’s hard work and musicianship. Writers on the album include Troy Johnson who has had cuts with The Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney and more and was able to share his gift of songwriting with us. Steve O’Brien- co-writer of the song “Roll Around” has had cuts with various artists throughout his career and wrote the “Rock my World (Little Country Girl)” by Brooks & Dunn. Ashlee and I were honored to work with Jordan Lawhead whom is a dear friend and has had a solo career and a publishing deal with Sony. Due to his intellectual approach, he brought a clever and profound musical approach. He co-wrote 3 of the songs with us including “Don’t Give Up”, “Like 10,000 Angels” and “Out of the Dark Ages”.

HVUM: Is Midtown Violets a full-time project or do you plan to continue working independently as well?

KW: Ashlee and I will always have our solo careers because they are how we started and when we are 50 years old no matter what we will still be playing music. We just feel like Midtown Violets is our ticket because it is so much fun and it is so tight and the harmonies are angelic!

HVUM: What’s next for Midtown Violets – Karen and Ashlee? Are you planning to tour? Europe?

KW: Great ass stuff! Trust us.

Karen, you have my trust. Thanks so much for taking time out to talk with us. It’s really appreciated. We wish you, Ashlee and Midtown Violets the best of luck going forward we hope you’ll stay in touch.

Visit Midtown Violets at http://www.midtownviolets.com/

Download “Don’t Give Up” https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dont-give-up/id796459277

Hello! My name is Alison. I’ve been passionate about country music since I was very young. I got to know music by following styles – rock, southern rock and the country music styles of today – and by cruising through the USA. I’ve also bought a lot of CDs! In recent years, I started broadcasting the “Les News de Nashville” on the Big Cactus Country presented by my friend Johnny Da Piedade. You can read my blog post on the Big Cactus Country site as well as here on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP!

Big Cactus Country Radio Show!!! The best of American Country presented by Johnny Da Piedade and Alison Hebert! The BCC is a syndicated radio Show presented by Johnny Da Piedade and Alison Hebert broadcast weekly more than 250 times. The BCC networtk is 120 affiliated radio stations in France, Reunion Island, St-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec and more.


The Delta Country Jam is a huge festival which takes place in the USA on October 4th and 5th in the Hollywood Casino at Tunica, Mississippi.

You haven’t do more than to get your plane ticket, because a superb programming waits for you! With: On Friday, 4: Randy Houser, Jerrod Niemann, Josh Thompson, the duet husband and wife Steel Magnolia, without forgetting the other duet Thomson Square, and as in everything good at a festival there is going to be headliner Billy Currington!

Randy Houser

Randy Houser

Jerrod Niemann

Jerrod Niemann

Josh Thompson

Josh Thompson

Steel Magnolia

Steel Magnolia

Thompson Square

Thompson Square

Billy Currington

Billy Currington

For Saturday, October 5th: singer Kelly Pickler, Maggie Rose, Drake White and Big Fire, BlackBerry Smoke, the songwriter Brantley Gilbert and mega superstar Tim McGraw will be the headliner of the festival!

Kellie Pickler

Kellie Pickler

Maggie Rose

Maggie Rose

Drake White

Drake White

BlackBerry Smoke

BlackBerry Smoke

Alison and Brantley Gilbert

Alison and Brantley Gilbert

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw

For more information on this mega event, go directly on their site www.deltacountryjam.com.



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