Greenwich native Caroline Jones is no stranger to a sold-out stage. The singer, songwriter, and Sirius XM host performed with Jimmy Buffet at the sold-out Trying to Reason hurricane relief benefit concert, which ultimately led to a partnership with Buffet’s Mailboat Records who released Jones’ Bare Feet album earlier this year. Even with a packed tour schedule, Jones made time to come home to Greenwich and perform at the sold-out Greenwich Hospital Foundation event, Under the Stars. Ahead of her performance, we had the opportunity to talk to Jones about her new album, musical inspiration and growing up in Greenwich.
How did you get started in music?
I developed a passion for writing poetry as a young girl. When I was 9, I began taking singing lessons, and soon after I realized that I could put those poems to music and write songs. I was hooked!
What was the most difficult part of creating your album, Bare Feet? What was the most fun?
The most challenging and time consuming aspect of recording is finding the production direction and balance. Crafting each part for each instrument, both for melody and for sound, is a trial-and-error process that is also extremely rewarding and fulfilling when the song comes together.
What’s your favorite song on the album?
Probably “The Difference,” which is a dance-influenced banjo song, and “YOUR HEART IS MINE.”
You wrote songs, sang, and also played instruments for your album. Which of the three do you prefer—writing, singing, or playing?
All three of those crafts go hand in hand for me. I can express my heart and soul through each one—singing, songwriting, playing instruments. And onstage or in the recording studio, each of those crafts is essential to putting across the vision of the music that is inside of me. The production aspect brings the song to life.
You play several different instruments for the album? How did you learn to play such a variety of instruments?
Once I learned the rudiments of piano and guitar, I began teaching myself instruments in the same family (dobro, banjo, lap steel) in order to make my solo acoustic show (just me onstage with my instrument) more interesting and varied. When I began producing my own records, learning to play various instruments became essential in order to see my vision for the production through.
What was it like growing up in Greenwich?
Greenwich is such a beautiful place. I have always been inspired to write in nature, so growing up in such a lush part of the Northeast, complete with the four seasons, has really informed my creativity.
What does music mean to you?
Music is my entire life. It’s my passion and my purpose. It’s my means of connecting to and with the world. It’s what I was born to make.
What’s it been like to sing with Jimmy Buffett?
A blast! Jimmy is so kind, so wise and so good to his fans. He lifts me up and supports me. He invites me to sing some of his most iconic songs onstage with him, including “Come Monday” and “Margaritaville!”
What’s been the most memorable part of being on tour?
The connections that you make with the headliner, the band, the crew, and the fans. These are really special, beautiful people who have dedicated their lives to music.
Who is your musical inspiration?
Willie Nelson, Jewel, Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, Patty Griffin.
Who would be your dream musician to work with?
Ryan Tedder, Kygo, Zedd. I would love to work with an EDM producer; I know I would learn a lot.
I am continuing to tour this summer with Jimmy Buffett and The Eagles, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Zac Brown Band. Dates and tickets at www.carolinejones.com.
What is your connection to the Greenwich Hospital Foundation? Why do you think it’s an important cause?
I am so excited to be headlining the Under the Stars Benefit 2018. We are raising money for Greenwich Hospital in support of women’s and children’s health. Women are the foundation of society, and so investing in women’s and children’s health is investing in the wellbeing and the future of our society.
The Greenwich Hospital Foundation’s Under the Stars event takes place on June 22, 2018 and money raised will benefit women and children’s health at the hospital. Stay tuned for our event recap!
Photos: Philippe Mcclelland