It’s pretty often you hear songs written about love. But how often do you hear songs performed by two people actually in love?
Meet Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes. They’re two Austin natives who met and fell in love after a dance in an Austin bar. The now-married duo, Dawn & Hawkes, rose to national fame when they were stars on The Voice with their coach Adam Levine.
Their first combined effort together, Golden Heart, climbed to No. 25 in Billboard’s Folk chart. They’re quite the married singer-songwriter partnership to beat, and we got the opportunity to talk to them about their music and love before their summer tour.
How did you meet and decide to make music together?
We met at a small East Austin bar that had this captivating swampy blues band. It’s the kind of place where the floors bounce along as you dance. As we danced and talked we found out both of us were singer/songwriters.
A few months later, we wound up in a song circle after the venue had closed down. That was the first time we shared a song and we both felt the intrigue and inspiration.
You got married four years into your partnership… Was it ever platonic?
We were friends at first. But shared songwriting can be so intimate and neither one of us can hide our true feelings when we create. Digging down deep to write, we learned more and more about each other, all of it set to music. Our real life relationship grew as fast as our onstage connection.
Who would you say your biggest musical influence is?
Miranda grew up listening to her dad play drums with bands that toured out of Austin, but he also had a great vinyl collection of singer/songwriters from Patty Griffin and Lucinda Williams to blues icons like Muddy Waters. He taught her how to play the guitar, but those records taught her how to write her own songs.
For Chris, in between his grandma’s vocal lessons, he would sneak in to play piano. But the most pivotal moment was sitting on the floor, in front of his older brother’s closed door hearing Led Zeppelin pounding through the door. He would try to recreate classic rock songs on a four track tape recorder and started making his own.
We both grew up with a love for the Beatles, are influenced by a lot of blues and roots music, and love the singer/songwriters today. We’re especially inspired by artists who are also great friends.
What are you most excited for on this tour?
This is the first time we’ve put all our stuff into storage and planned to really take our time while visiting favorite spots and playing shows around the country.
A lot of the songs from our current record, Yours and Mine, and the album we’re recording right now, were inspired by these beautiful landscapes and people that make them feel warm and welcoming. We’re getting to make a pilgrimage, share these songs live, and bring our studio to record surrounded by the actual places and faces that make us want to sing.
What else do you have in store for 2017?
We’re recording some of our newest songs now and can’t wait to release some new music soon!
Jukely members have the ability to claim their spot to go to shows on the tour, or enter a contest to win tickets.
August 26, 2017 – Cactus Cafe – Austin – tickets
Go out tonight, and any night. Jukely is a concert subscription that gives members guestlist access to hundreds of music events – for one price. Whenever you want to go out, you’ll always have something to do. Learn more and sign up at jukely.com.