Tag Archive: Sara Evans


Sara Evans
Words
Born To Fly Records

Visit Sara Evans at Facebook and iTunes

American country music singer-songwriter Sara Evans has released “Words” her eighth studio album and the first on her independent label Born To Fly Records. Clearly what distinguishes this album is that all of the fourteen songs are written by a female songwriter. That’s not to say that there are not any melodies worthy of special attention. There’s some ear-pleasing country pop tracks such as “Marquee Sign” written by Evans, Jimmy Robbins, and Heather Morgan and featuring vocals by Evans’ daughter, Olivia. “Letting You Go” written by Evans is good country folk. You probably won’t feel blown away by the album, but keeping in mind the emphasis on female songwriters and the pleasant feeling one is likely to take away, if you’re into contemporary country it should be added to your collection.


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

Karen Waldrup is Nashville’s newest and brightest star to burst on to the music scene. From her humble beginnings of hosting her own writers night within her first month living in Nashville, to releasing her second CD titled “With Love, Karen” within only one year, to appearing on Bravo channel’s television show “Platinum Hit” hosted by well known artist Jewel and American Idol veteran Kara DioGuardi, Karen has been quite the musical success story many can only dream about.

In fact, Karen was previously named one of GAC’s Top 25 songwriters. Her list of accomplishments in such a short time is impressive to say the least. Besides performing with big name acts such as Rodney Atkins at the 2009 “Salute To The Troops” concert in Fort Campbell featuring Carrie Underwood and Hank Williams Jr., she has opened for major star Sara Evans. She has performed all over the country at numerous events and has performed at many other popular venues all over the country from playing at LP Field in Nashville, to the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans. In 2010, she shot her latest music video titled “Bayou Baby”, which is dedicated to her home state of Louisiana where she grew up.

In addition to her music, Karen stands out for her desire to be involved in charity work which includes performances for The Manifest Foundation, Heroes In The Zone Benefit, and the Golf Tournament Benefit Of Leukemia Lymphoma Society. She truly cares for others and has done several events involving organizations dedicated to helping others less fortunate.

Karen is releasing new record ‘The Beginning’ this summer inspiring music lovers to take a new beginning this summer if one is needed. To know that at any moment we can start over with a new outlook! Check out Nashvilles newest star to burst onto the music scene and her album on iTunes and Amazon! Add it to your summer pool mix!

Visit Karen at http://www.karenwaldrup.com/

http://www.youtube.com/karenwaldrupmusic

Powered by WordPress. Theme: Motion by 85ideas.
google-site-verification: google0eca8f6b62d9ec8d.html