|In January 2001, Karen Poston & the
Crystal Pistols were named one of the top five Americana acts in
Austin, TX, by the readers and staff at Austin Americana.com, and
in March they were listed as one of the best new of 2000 by The
Austin Chronicle. Quite an accomplishment for a young songwriter who
has yet to release her first record. But not unusual for this born-again
Texan, who has been catching the ear of Texas music fans since her
arrival in 1994.
In 1995 Karen was introduced to a whole new audience, and she was given the official honky tonk seal of approval when Dale Watson asked her to add harmony to his 1996 release Blessed or Damned. Her reputation as a singer was enhanced by stage appearances with The Derailers and Charlie Robison, but most came to know her as a "Sparkling Teardrop", a permanent fixture in Ted Roddyís Tearjoint Troubadours. Karenís soulful harmonies and rhythm guitar continue to add sparkle and verve to the Texas Music Hall of Famerís live show as well as adding several songwriting credits and a duet to his critically acclaimed release Tear Time.
Her debut as a solo artist is set for a release in early July, though it can hardly be seen as a solo effort. Produced by guitar hero Jim Stringer, Real Bad features 10 of Karenís original compositions including Lydia, the heart wrenching single released by Slaid Cleaves on his Rounder release, Broke Down, as well as a guest list that reads like a whoís who of Americana music . Both the title cut, and Karenís version of Lydia feature the amazing harmony vocals of the first lady of Americana, Kelly Willis. Add that to guest appearances by Gurf Morlix, Ted Roddy, Roger Wallace, and Slaid Cleaves and you get a powerfully potent stew of American Music that defies classification, and begs for another listen.
Music writers have compared Karen to Linda Rondstadt, Lucinda Williams, Freedy Johnston, and Dave Alvin, as well as the Grand olí Opryís Connie Smith. Karen adds, "Once someone said I was the country Gwen Stefani... whatever that means."
The Austin Chronicle claims she has an angels voice... breaking hearts in every honky tonk between here and the border. The Dallas Observer calls her "...a yet to be discovered singing and songwriting treasure", and No Depression boasts of her credibility. A Houston Press writer attests, "Her appalachian roots and ability to balance a picturesque lyric with a gentle country melody are declarative of her musical direction. She is both a talented singer and a gifted songwriter!"
The band, named for a honky tonk in Karenís hometown of Tipp City, Ohio, boasts a gargantuan musical resume. Terry Kirkendall (The Derailers, Dale Watson), Bobby Snell (Charlie Robison), Vance Hazen, Boomer Norman, and producer, Jim Stringer, add their signiture sounds to Karenís high energy live shows and are featured prominently on Real Bad. Actually theyíre Real Good!