The Woman: Before Karen Elson was coveted for her music, it was her body that caught poeple’s eye. At age 16, the pale-skinned red head was signed by Boss modeling in Manchester, England. At 18 she made her debut in Italian Vogue, one year later Elson was named VH1’s Model Of The Year, and in 2005 she was awarded the British Fashion Award for Best Model.
Later In 2005, The White Stripes released a music video for its single “Blue Orchid,” in which a red-headed woman in a white wedding dress shakes and stumbles about a decrepit cottage in a pair of heels that are entirely way too tall…that woman was none other than Elson.
Currently, Elson is part owner of a vintage boutique in Nashville, Tennessee named Venus & Mars – The Showroom, which she tends with Venus & Mars’ Amy Patterson.
Since 2003, Elson has had no problem performing other people’s music, The Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and Elvis, to name a few, with the New York City cabaret troupe, The Citizens Band.
However, it was Jack White who reentered Elson’s world and dragged the cat-walker out of the closet, or bathroom, as the story goes, with his golden grasp and convinced the ghostly matron to focus on her new line of work.
The bohemian bluesman urged Elson to continue writing and performing and eventually, she developed enough material for a full length record. In 2010, Elson dropped Ghost Who Walks, a collection of 13 hauntingly beautiful tracks produced by White and put out on his label Third Man Records.
I’ve fallen in love with this record and I can’t wait to catch Elson on the farm. Enjoy the sampling of her work below.
“The Ghost Who Walks”
“The Truth Is The Dirt”