From Karen Choi
Singer/songwriter Karen Choi started her music career in what she says felt like a “reverse order.” At age 20, she married, had her first son two years later, graduated from college, had her second son, completed her Master’s degree, and launched her music career in her mid-twenties. By no means is this the “wrong way,” of course, because the ebb and flow of Karen’s journey has served to influence her grassroots style. Hailing from the Midwest, Karen was born in Lincoln, NE but has most recently lived in St. Loius, MO. She has penned her own lyrics and melodies as far back as she can remember. “Around the age of 13 I picked up my Dad's old Martin guitar to try to give some shape to the lyrics I was writing,” she says. “Playing the guitar was a way for me to tease out the songwriter and give musical shape to what were just words and melodies in my head.” Over time, song-crafting became the intersection of daily living, relationships, faith, theology, philosophy, and beauty in Karen’s life. In 2013, Karen moved back to her hometown of Lincoln, NE with her husband and two children after living for 5 years in St. Louis. The years in St. Louis proved to be influential in shaping the voice and style of Karen’s writing. It was during these years that the songs on Karen’s debut album Paper Birch were written. Paper Birch, not only represents her heart-on-sleeve songwriting, it also heralds the effortless blend of bluegrass and folk genres. Recorded and produced by Brian Oaks in Nashville, Tenn., Paper Birch is rooted in all the places and phases that have formed Karen and her music.