Bio- Karen joy brown

About the artist

Karen Joy Brown's elegantly sparse acoustic pop/jazz/Americana guitar and deeply soulful voice express heartfelt emotion that inspires reflection and connection in listeners. Her songwriting reveals a poet's soul captivated by the spiritual challenges, lessons, and bliss inherent in human experience. The powerful combination of well-crafted lyrics and an enchanting vocal delivery reach out to befriend and uplift with her singular sense of rhythm, humor, and compassion.


Karen discovered a love of performing though choirs, drama, and musicals as well as cross-cultural interests studying French and Spanish in high school. A passion for songwriting ignited when she picked up her father’s guitar at eighteen and continued throughout her Spanish studies at CSU Chico and early teaching career compiling thirty original songs and leading music for church services.

Her own style began to blossom playing solo in small venues and farmers’ markets. Literate lyrics pondering love, loss, and a deep affection for the beauty in mundane life began to command attention winning local songwriting contests and regular rotation on KZFR community radio.


Employing eclectic influences from Mavis Staples, Chet Baker, Gillian Welch, to Tom Petty, she produced a three song EP featuring Goodbye, My Beautiful Ocean, her 2007 first full-length release, Fabulous Junkyard, and 2010, Little Words and her songs appear on various compilations. 

The Show Goes On....

Since her last recording, Karen deepened her skills by joining an acapella gospel choir memorizing dozens of classic spirituals and gospel tunes while focusing on the art of harmony, blending, and arrangement. Her last Chico music project, Afternoon Bloom, featured her renewed love of harmony performing with her twin sister in a full band. 

June 2012 brought Karen to Sonoma County where she played regularly as a duo with her gifted guitarist husband, David Silva.

and on....

Dreams came true in 2016 when she joined The Bootleg Honeys, including opening for greats like Ruthie Foster, playing the Kate Wolf festival and the Sweetwater Music Hall. 

Homeward Season

2018 marked the start of a homeward focused season with the foster-adoption of a seven year old girl and full time teaching; leaving performing and recording in the rear-view mirror. These rich and challenging years strengthened her profound connection with writing as spiritual practice, resulting in poetry collections, blog writing, and the beginning of a memoir on teaching. Along with them came a dozen new songs featuring the same powerful vocals of past albums, and the added refinement and nuance of a singer and woman who's come into her own style and signature. 

What's Next?

Karen and former Bootleg Honey bandmate, Katie Phillips, are currently exploring new ways to combine songwriting, singing, and recovery/personal growth work in an upcoming podcast Supernova Support. The show hopes to inspire by sharing how songwriting has supercharged their own personal work as well as create an interactive space for listeners to engage their own creativity and personal insight through meditation, journal writing, and more. They aspire to expand the principles of the show into both online and in-person workshops, retreats, house concerts and more.