Caroline Jones making waves, touring with the legendary Jimmy Buffett
Country-pop singer-songwriter Caroline Jones first met Jimmy Buffett when she shared the stage with him at a hurricane relief benefit concert last November in Tallahassee, Fla.
This summer, she's the opening act for Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band on his tour that runs through October.
"We just really hit it off. He's been such a great mentor," Jones said on the phone from Nashville, where she was performing at Country Music Association's CMA Fest June 7-10.
She said that Buffett is her role model, both as an artist and as a person.
"That's important when you're choosing your heroes," she said. "Values are important to him and being able to inspire people makes him a great example."
She also will be opening shows throughout the year for Zac Brown Band with OneRepublic and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
The musician and performer, who turned 28 on June 30, grew up in the Stamford-Greenwich area of Connecticut and started recording original music while attending the Professional Children's School in New York City.
She studied creative writing at New York University and previously toured high schools and colleges nationwide, conducting songwriting and vocal workshops through a music curriculum she developed known as The Heart is Smart.
Now living in West Palm Beach, Fla., Jones has been making waves in the country music industry. In the last year or so, she was named to Billboard's list of top "15 Country Artists to Watch" and made Rolling Stone's list of "10 Country Artists You Need to Know."
On March 30, her album, "Bare Feet," debuted, for which she wrote all the songs and played all of the instruments (minus drums and bass). She co-produced the album released by Buffett's Mailboat Records label with Grammy and Academy Award-winning producer Ric Wake, who has worked with Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Trisha Yearwood.
Jones calls herself "a student of the musical craft." She is proficient on assorted acoustic and electric guitars, in addition to the Dobro, banjo, lap steel guitar, harmonica and piano. She has a collection of vintage guitars that are featured in songs on her album.
'Bare Feet' mission statement
She is especially proud of the title track for "Bare Feet," which she said defines her mission statement.
"It really represents the way I want to walk into the world and who I am as an artist and a person — what I want to represent, which is joy and authenticity," she said. "You have to have courage to be yourself, and that starts and ends with your willingness to follow your heart to live a more joyful life."
Jones has a monthly radio show, Art & Soul, on Sirius XM's The Coffee House, where she talks with musicians about their music and songwriting. Her Art & Soul episodes are available on her YouTube channel.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.