Caroline Jones Balances Performing With Zac Brown Band and Solo Career [EXCLUSIVE]

Caroline Jones is busier than ever, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. The New York native is building her promising solo career, which includes releasing her latest Antipodes album, while also touring as the sole female member of the Zac Brown Band.

“It’s really gratifying,” Jones tells Everything Nash. “I’m really proud of this record. I worked on it for a long time. I think it shows a lot of growth. When I came out with my first record, I’d never toured on big stages. And for this record,  by the time it came out, I’d spent like four years opening up for the Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney and the Eagles and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw and so many of my heroes. And so I think playing live and touring at that scale, just emboldened me as an artist, and matured me as an artist, in a way that nothing else can. So I think these songs reflect that.”

Jones goes from performing in front of intimate crowds to sold-out large arenas. For some, it might be a culture shock. For Jones, she relishes each moment of both scenarios.

“I personally don’t think it’s hard, but I never took it very hard personally when people weren’t there to see me. I just always was so grateful. I still am, ’cause I still do tons of opening gigs. I’m just so grateful to be in front of people, because I remember playing to no one,” Jones says with a laugh. “I’m just happy when there are people there at all. I take it as a challenge to try to win people over. I tell new artists — because some new artists, it’s like a real mind-screw to have people talking through your songs, and going to get beers and whatever. I just say, ‘If there are 5000 people in the audience and you walk away with 100, 200, 500 new fans, how would you have made them any other way?’ I just think you find your people over time.

“That’s how I’ve been trying to build my career,” she adds. “So I actually really enjoy opening. I mean, obviously there’s something very special about people coming to see you singing your songs, who are moved by your music. That’s the ultimate dream, but I just love playing live.”

Jones loves performing her own music, but she admits it’s a thrill to be performing with the excellent musicians that make up the Zac Brown Band.

“I’ve never been a side-man before,” Jones acknowledges. “I’ve always been kind of the steerer and leader of my own ship. But I’m a real music nerd. I love instruments. And so this gig is a real reach for me as a musician, because these guys are such incredible musicians. So, having the responsibility and the honor of playing other people’s songs and music instead of your own, it’s like a masterclass on stage every night.”

With the trajectory of Jones’ career, she will likely soon be headlining large venues by herself. But until that happens, the rising star is soaking up everything she can by watching how Zac Brown leads his band night after night.

“It’s really formative for me,” Jones says. “And I’ve noticed even just in a year of being in their band, so many changes in me as an artist and a musician. They have a rawness and a willingness to take risks because they’re veterans. So me being a perfectionist, I tend to be more timid, or I tend to not do something unless I know I can nail it. And Zac is just super raw. His talent is just out there on the edge. He doesn’t care as much about necessarily the perfection of the thing as the soul and the grit of it. And I think some of that’s rubbing off on me, which is really good for me.”

Find all of Jones’ music and tour dates at

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sunshine Sachs