e. vieno66 [at] hotmail . com
The long-anticipated solo album from Minneapolis singer/songwriter/pianist KAREN VIENO PAURUS:
A collection of fiercely personal, daring and sensual songs.
The Times Bar and Cafe
201 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
"Paurus' ... aching singing has a keenness and clarity that can cover you with chills. She suggests a refreshing kind of mixed-genre channeler, a folk singer with torch songs in her mouth." --Rohan Preston/ Star Tribune
"Depending on your age, Paurus's jazz chords and blue notes might remind you of Laura Nyro or Norah Jones. The songs ... (are) gorgeously sung with full-throated soul." --Dylan Hicks/ City Pages
"Karen's voice is so powerful and pure, it plunges you into a deep crystal river of compassion and emotion." --Heather McElhatton/ Author of "Pretty Little Mistakes" and writer and independent producer for Public Radio International
Passion, Prayer and Poison was recorded live at the Brewhouse Studios in Minneapolis over the course of 4 wintry nights filled with red wine, candlelight, and genuine musical rapport.
The outcome? Pure magic.
"Karen's artistry is truly refreshing, and engages the listener to an extent seldom reached in modern music. She is a masterful storyteller, emoting with such vivid imagery you can't help but find yourself immersed in her lyrical world. Her voice is simply beautiful." --Dave Michael, drummer
The album is a collection of 6 original songs, including audience favorites "Smoke," (a chill-inducing aria about the loss of her father) and the smoldering "Tango," and 2 covers: Tom Waits' "Jesus Gonna Be Here" and the wrenching, lovely Waits/Keith Richards collaboration, "That Feel."
Passion, Prayer and Poison was recorded, mixed and mastered by Grammy-nominated producer/engineer Rob Genadek.
Paurus called on her best-of-the-best backup band with guitarist Robert Bell, drummer Dave Michael and bassist Matt Senjem of the Twin Cities Hot Club, the Southside Aces and many other well-known local groups.
The album also features guest appearances by sousaphonist Erik Jacobson (Southside Aces, Mama Digdowns), accordionist Dan Chouinard ("Cafe Europa") and cellist Megan Popowski (Trio con brio).
Paurus is thrilled to announce that vocalist Prudence Johnson will be joining her for the CD release show.
Paurus is well known around the Twin Cities as Lili's Burlesque Revue's "Sultry Chanteuse," and recently performed in the show "The Best of Midwest Burlesk" which sold out two nights at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis.
Paurus was named "Minnesota Female Vocalist of the Year" in 1999 (for her soaring performance of the song "Calypso" on the album Minneapolis Does Denver) and has performed/recorded with dozens of local and national artists, including Willie Wisely, Peter Mayer, Billy McLaughlin, and Peter Ostroushko. She has performed on A Prairie Home Companion, MPR, Cities 97, KBEM and various stations around the nation. She was also the lead singer for the bands Bug! and Holiday Ranch.
She appeared regularly as the featured musical guest in MPR's Stage Sessions at the Fitzgerald Theater in 2006-2007 with host Heather McElhatton and guests including Robert Bly, Bill Holm, Kevin Kling, and many more. She was also the featured musical guest during the Fitzgerald Theater's Talking Volumes series; her original music complemented readings by authors Jonathan Safran Foer and Jean Harfenist.
In 2003-2004 she appeared with Colleen Kruse at the Historic Pantages and Bryant-Lake Bowl Theaters' productions of Thirty Days in Frogtown and wrote an original musical score for the production.
Hear songs from the album at her myspace page myspace.com/karenpaurus.
Photo credit: Margaret Andrews
[click photos to download high-res]