Karen Wheelock

Karen Wheelock

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Folk - Contemporary | Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Total Song Plays: 550   
Member Since: 2012
   Last Login: over 30 days ago

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"What I liked about the guitar playing is that it's simple chords and allows your vocals to step out front. It's obvious that this is a song from personal experience, with very heartfelt lyrics, and that's what makes great music." - Roy Elkins (CEO of Broadjam.com)

"You have a wonderful voice....the vocals are great, the song is great, the genre is great. I love it." - Sandman (Sandman Productions)

"I think it sounds great....In the mid-eighties there was this really cool, post-modern rock movement where female vocalists were allowed to really use their vocal power - you remind me of that."
-Randy Hawke (Radio Program Director, WJJO)

Official Bio

Madison's New Artist of the Year Karen Wheelock burst into the local folk and americana scene in 2013, armed with a guitar and a ukulele. A Wisconsin farm girl from the small town of Delavan, Wheelock's gentle heart and forthright nature are surprisingly disarming to even the most jaded audience.

Karen is one of those folk artists that manages to put a modern twist on a music tradition as old as time. She actively encourages audience participation, and covers the songs of old in addition to those of other local and indie artists.

In her short time performing in Madison and surrounding areas, Wheelock has proven herself to be a force, who can hold her own at a rock show or benefit concert.

Romantic at its core, Wheelock's music has a sound all its own, but one could draw connections to A Fine Frenzy, Lisa Loeb, Cat Power with just a hint of the Moldy Peaches' spirit. Hidden within her songwriting is a deep love for the Foo Fighters and other hard rock bands. Wheelock's repertoire ranges from light-hearted ditties to deeply profound ballads; these are clearly the result of personal reflection, the stuff of all good art.

Her candid lyrics bridge the gap between the reverence of new love and straightforward acceptance of loss.

Audience favorites include the playful "Hiccup to my Heart" (You were just a hiccup to my heart/We didn't even last very long!) and the poignant "Imaginary Girl" that warns us that some dreams are best left in sleeping heads.

Her December 2014 release, "Imaginary Girl" was funded via IndieGoGo, and earned her a MAMA award for 2015 Folk Album of the Year. She was also recently signed by Dartboard Records.

Wheelock's "Imaginary Girl" album received acclaim from such music publications as Maximum Ink Magazine and Local Sounds-- and receives regular airplay on Madison's rock and pop indie music stations. Said John Noyd of Maximum Ink Magazine in an album review, Wheelock's "strong voice trails easily off into a whisper or blossom into robust proportions, ["Imaginary Girl" EP] reflects Karen's all-in aspirations, sentimental melancholy and eager self-reflection."

Moreover, Wheelock is a friend to artists big and small; she has done her part to strengthen the Madison music scene. Wheelock regularly attends local shows and is often seen repping other bands-- talking them up and wearing their gear. She also organized a collective of female musicians.

Wheelock's romantic, good-hearted sound is matched only by her charitable efforts. She is known to spearhead projects wielding the power of music to back causes she cares about. Notably, she conceived and executed the creation of a benefit compilation album, Smilin' On, which features several notable Madison artists, including Sexy Ester, Brandon Beebe and Catch Kid. Smilin' On won a MAMA for Best Compilation album in 2014. All proceeds from the record went to Alzheimer's research.