Karen Jonas (Americana)


[Karen Jonas' record] Oklahoma lottery is an album that can be filed in the country, folk and roots segment of music. That as such doesn't say much as there are albums in that segment that make the fillings jump spontaneously out of my teeth. Not so with Oklahoma lottery. Everything seems to fall into its right place on the album. The music, the laidback playing and Karen Jonas' voice that leads us straight to heaven. The titlesong is in my opinion the ultimate song on this album. The song holds on tight to the backseat of the backbeat. The mood is so mellow that there is a danger the musicians will fall off. Over the rhythm there are some lead notes on an electric piano and an electric guitar. And smack dab in the middle is Karen Jonas. Singing in a slow, deliberate way, as if it's late at night and still extremely warm and humid. She carries this song home and keeps it all together at the same time. 'Oklahoma lottery' is so good it deserves a statue.

This frail looking young woman has a voice that has a tear in it without ever over-doing it, can sound sad and seductive at the same time and is powerful without forcing it at any time. Another word that shoots to mind is self-assured. She knows exactly what she's doing here. Her self-penned songs were lovingly recorded by Jeff Covert, who made Oklahoma lottery sound really great. Wide spaced, with room enough to hear each instrument separately and clear. The musicians supporting and playing with Karen Jonas have done a great job as each song gets the treatment it needs and deserves. They hold back in the ballads, lending heartfelt emotions to a song like 'Steppin' on your toes' and go full out in the up tempo ones.