Karen Pendley Bio


Karen is a veteran vocalist, fiddle player and songwriter who has not only backed up and worked in the touring bands or some of the most well known country music stars, but has also pursued her own independent artist career as well.

Karen is a native of North Carolina and comes from a musical family background, where her dad is still a performing regional fiddle player. Before moving to Nashville, Karen worked in a house band in Hickory NC for several years and was able to front shows for many well known artists, such as: Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, Lori Morgan, Emmylou Harris, Steve Wariner, Ronnie Milsap, Gene Watson, Sawyer Brown, Bellamy Brothers, Marie Osmond, Billy Joe Royal, Carlene Carter, Tom T. Hall, Connie Smith, Ronnie McDowell, Mel Tillis and Sweethearts of the Rodeo to name a few.

Since moving to Nashville, Karen has worked as featured vocalist and staff fiddle player in many different venues in and around the Nashville area. Some of these prominent venues include: The Nashville Palace, Opryland Theme Park shows, The Ryman Auditorium, The Station Inn, Robert’s, Wolfy’s, Tootsies, Legend's Corner, Crossroads, Full Moon, Layla's Bluegrass Inn, The Stage, The Wheel and John A's, ……

Karen has also toured in the bands of the Nashville Country Music Revue, Jill King, Lila McCann, Mindy McCready, Julie Reeves and Eddy Raven.

Through her work at various venues in Nashville, Karen has also backed up many artists including Jack Greene, Connie Smith, Jim Ed Brown, Bill Anderson, Johnny Russell, Jeanne Pruitt, Jeanie Sealy, Dale Reeves, Little Jimmy Dickens, Billy Walker, Ronnie Stoneman, Granny Johnson, Johnny Counterfit, Box Car Willie, Steve Hill & Dianne Sherrill, Vern Gosdin , Porter Wagoner, Jan Howard, Johnny Lee, Mila Mason, Jessica Andrews, Tammy Cochran, and Ricky Van Shelton just to name a few.

Karen continues to perform original bluegrass music in her own band the “HeartStrings” which was originally formed in 2001 as an all female band.  Although the band is no longer all female, Karen continues to front the band and accept many regional and national bookings. The HeartStrings band has toured and performed at many venues and festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Karen has recorded a traditional country, western swing CD entitled “I’ll Be There” which had some CD charting success overseas and has been able to perform at venues and festivals in Japan, Norway, Ireland and the UK (England, Wales).  Karen has also recorded two “HeartStrings” bluegrass/acoustic CDs with original music, as well as a Christmas CD.

Currently, Karen continues performing with her HeartStrings Band and in the bands of other country and bluegrass artists.  She continues with songwriting, fiddle/violin teaching, and studio demo work for various songwriters.  

Karen has recently released her new bluegrasss CD, "Cottage Grove", featuring many of her original songs.