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Judge for Kirsten Jones

Toronto, Canada
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Portrait of Kirsten Jones
"smooth-as-buckwheat-honey vocals...a bonfide comparison to Emmylou Harris is not out of order..." Eric Thom, Exclaim Magazine

Virginia-born, Toronto-based Kirsten Jones had only one producer in mind for her sophomore album, The Mad Mile: former Jayhawks frontman Gary Louris. "I knew I wanted to try getting in touch with Gary before moving on to anyone else, so I looked up his management online and just sent them a package." Soon after, Louris' management team got in touch with Kirsten, and he flew to Toronto to produce the new CD. Thanks to Louris' firsthand experience with some of Jones' favourite artists (The Dixie Chicks, Kelly Willis, Lucinda Williams, The Jayhawks), it was very natural to create a sound that combined her alt country influences with her own unique writing style.

"She has interesting lyrics, pretty heavy duty lyrics and a hook sensibility. She has it, you know? ...wish I had written these songs...
- Gary Louris

In what has proved to be a banner year, Kirsten also received a coveted FACTOR award for over $20,000 toward the making of the new CD. Last summer, she was selected as a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk Contest. And in the fall, the Canadian Country Music Awards invited Kirsten to perform for the second year in a row at the prestigious Songwriter's Cafe, alongside Victoria Banks and Lisa Brokop.

Kirsten wrote or co-wrote every song on The Mad Mile, and two songs were co-written with Louris. Kirsten's song "You Ain't Comin' By" was recently a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition in the Americana category and was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Country category. Kirsten has had two other songs in the semi-finals of the ISC, as well as receiving Honorable Mention for "I Will Love You Now" in this year's Nashville Songwriter's Association contest.

Kirsten Jones released her debut album Drive-In Movie in 2005. It received airplay in all Canadian provinces, peaking at #3 on CBC's Galaxie Folk/Roots chart. She has toured in the US and Canada, including dates with Jim Cuddy, Oh Susanna, Corb Lund, Hayes Carll, Minnie Driver, Cindy Church, Sarah Harmer, and numerous others.

"The music of Kirsten Jones combines the best elements of alt-country and contemporary folk. She's also an engaging live performer, bringing both introspection and high humour to her shows".
- Mark Rheaume, CBC Radio