Karen Jonas Brings Her Indie Rockacana to SXSW
March 15, 2023 @ 3:00pm
The Fredericksburg, VA singer-songwriter is once again bringing her alt-country musical blend to SXSW.
Singer-songwriter Karen Jonas is a SXSW alum, having played at the festival in 2019 and 2022 and having been scheduled to play 2020 before COVID-19 shut that down.
“That was the first thing we had to cancel,” Jonas tells District Fray, chatting from her Fredericksburg, Virginia home.
Now Jonas is ready to make the most of her time in Texas. Not only did she perform her SXSW showcase at midnight on March 16 at Saxon Pub, but she also did an additional show at Crossroads Saloon in Fredericksburg, Texas on March 16. She’ll play Altdorf Biergarten on March 17 and San Jan Saloon and SX Frito Pie Party on Coco in Austin the afternoon of March 18.
“We’re trying to just make some use of our time,” Jonas says.
If the show calendar overload seems a bit much, Jonas has good reason to hit various stages multiple times over a few days, having just released her latest album “The Restless” and performing at Pearl Street Warehouse in D.C. earlier this month.
Describing the album as “dark and dreamy,” Jonas explains how this material varies from her past offerings.
“It’s maybe a little less country than some of our older offerings,” says Jonas. “A little more toward some indie rock influence. The reviewers had varying terms for it. Somebody called indie rockacana, which I didn’t mind too much.”
While Jonas is starting to grab the attention of music critics, like most artists performing at SXSW, she’s looking to draw as much industry attention as possible.
“I’m expecting to go there and play some fun shows and then head back,” Jonas says. “In an ideal world we would surely network with some awesome booking agents or management or label but we don’t really go there expecting too much. We’ve been there before and not come back with a whole staff; that’s usually how it works. But it is an opportunity. We have met some really interesting people there and some people from around the world that kind of gather for the events, so there’s always a chance. It’s always fun to see who’s there.”
Though most of Jonas’ time will be spent traveling from one stage to another, she is hoping to check out some other showcases.
“We’ll definitely see what we can see in between what we’re doing,” says Jonas. “I know there’s lots of great showcases at the Saxon and even some D.C. artists that are going to be there alongside us, so we hope to make some of their showcases.”
Karen Jonas played at SXSW, Thursday, March 16 at 12 a.m. at Saxon Pub. To learn more about Karen Jonas and her music, follow her on Instagram @karenjonasmusic.