ACL Preview: Dawn & Hawkes

Photo credit: Jackie Lovato

ACL 2014 banner
LiveMom is thrilled to be covering the Austin City Limits Music Festival for the fifth straight year. We have listened to all 140 bands and are your one-stop-shop for the biggest music event of the fall, whether you are taking the whole fam or using it as an excuse to get some adult time. Keep up with our coverage of this year’s festival here on LiveMom and over on Facebook, Twitter, our ACL 2014 Pinterest page and Instagram. We’ll be there Weekend One! You can even peruse our schedule.


Sure, I am excited about the Austin City Limits Music Festival because of the headliners, but it’s also a great opportunity to watch music fans from across the world fall in love with our local favorites. One of the local acts I’m planning to see on Weekend One is Dawn & Hawkes. Truth be told, I’ve known the lovely and multi-talented Miranda Dawn for years now, and was among those who watched as she and Chris Hawkes blew The Voice host Adam Levine away with their rendition of “I’ve Just Seen a Face”. In addition to ACL, Dawn & Hawkes will be bringing their indie-folk-Americana sound to the F1 Fan Fest on November 1st and Stubb’s on November 28th.

You can catch Dawn & Hawkes on the Austin Ventures Stage on Sunday, October 5th from 12-12:40pm.

Photo credit: Jackie Lovato
Photo credit: Jackie Lovato

We had a chance to catch up with Miranda and Chris to hear what they are looking forward to about ACL, what it was like after being on The Voice and how the two of them write songs together.

LiveMom: What are you most looking forward to about performing at ACL? What other acts do you want to see?

Dawn and Hawkes: Definitely excited to hear so much music in one place! We’re playing the same day (Sunday 10/5) as some of our favorites like Spoon, Jamestown Revival and Jenny Lewis.

LiveMom: What do you see as the pluses (and minuses) of being a band based in the “Live Music Capital of the World”?

Dawn and Hawkes: Austin is a unique musical city because musicians come here to connect with its authenticity. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist in other places as well, but a lot of times there’s focus on exclusivity, business networking and resume sprouting in other cities. In Austin, there’s a place for the heart of a musician to be seen, heard, showcased, and included and we love that. Musicians come here to take off the labels (literally and figuratively) and be real. The city’s growing popularity definitely affects the cost of living, but we’re hopeful that the spirit can transcend and grow as a reason to support programs like HAAM, SIMS and artist enrichment programs that help musicians find balance. 

LiveMom: How have things changed for you as musicians since being on The Voice

Dawn and Hawkes: It was a surreal moment to get to share what we love doing with millions of listeners. To feel their support for our original music and life together afterwords was so encouraging. Touring is even more exciting as each destination has us arriving to fans who seem to already know our story and welcome us into their hometowns with open ears and hearts.

For us, music is all about connecting people, and The Voice experience connected us with some of the best fans and friends imaginable.

We frequently hear, “I never really watch TV or The Voice, but I caught YOU GUYS and really dug your music.”

LiveMom: Where are your favorite venues to perform in around town?
AdvertisementDawn and Hawkes: Depends on the type of show! So far:
Listening venues: Strange Brew and Cactus Cafe
Outdoor venue: Threadgill’s
Indoor venues: Stubb’s and One 2 One
Dancing venue: Continental Club

LiveMom: Where do you go in Austin to draw inspiration to write songs?

Miranda: I’m always collecting lyrics and melodies. The best inspiration comes usually during a run around Town Lake or after a night listening to some of Austin’s finest live music.

Chris: I definitely find inspiration hearing music and the stories that friends share at late night jams. Besides feeling comfortable to express yourself, being in a community of open musicians gives you some pretty interesting stories!

LiveMom: As a duo, how does your songwriting process work?

Dawn and Hawkes: We write a lot in the car together while we’re on tour, at home early in the morning, or at random times… like while doing the dishes!

LiveMom: Do you write together, write apart or is it different every time?

Dawn and Hawkes: It’s a little different each time but, for us, writing together is kind of like cooking together. Even working on different parts, there’s a timing to it all and everything has to taste good together.

Miranda: We each have our own natural strengths, like Chris is really great at finding the vibe and flow for a song and the chorus line that brings the whole thing together. He’ll nonchalantly write my favorite lyrics and kind of toss them out with a chord change that sparks a whole story…

Chris: Miranda will spill out with words and then we’ll whittle away at it together until we say the most with the least amount of words.

Miranda: We’ll add guitar parts and harmonies and it’s exciting as tiny ideas become great big emotional rides.  When I look into the eyes of a new fan and see them experience the swell of emotions, memories, and feelings of their own in response to the music, it is the most connected feeling to a stranger I’ve ever felt. Suddenly we are not strangers anymore, and there’s this shared sense of being together in this great big life experience.

Keep in touch with the band on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 8-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]
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About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

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