Dawn & Hawkes to bring ‘The Voice’ to Fort Worth

Posted Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

The Voice

• 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays

• KXAS/Channel 5

Dawn & Hawkes

With Luke Wade & No Civilians, Barrett Baber and Cody Culberson

• 8 p.m. Friday

• Queen City Music Hall

425 S. Commerce St., Fort Worth

• $10

• For tickets, go to queencitymusichall.com

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For the time being, at least, I’ve Just Seen a Face is their signature song.

Three weeks ago, during the blind audition portion of The Voice, the Austin-based music duo of Dawn & Hawkes used this classic Beatles tune to introduce themselves to a television audience of more than 15 million people.

And what a memorable first impression they made.

Mentor Adam Levine couldn’t stop raving about Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes, calling their twangy country-folk cover his “favorite performance … ever” in six seasons of NBC’s popular music talent show.

He clearly wasn’t the only listener captivated.

The iTunes single for I’ve Just Seen a Face quickly hit No. 1 on the rock sales chart and the duo’s 2012 EP, Golden Heart, soared to No. 2 on the singer/songwriter chart.

It’s amazing the mountains that can be moved in just a minute and a half of exposure on national TV.

“There’s definitely a piqued interest in our music now,” says Dawn, who’s looking forward to a Friday night gig in Fort Worth, at Queen City Music Hall. “We weren’t sure if it was going to extend beyond the one track for The Voice, but people have also bought our EP, which is awesome.

“There also have been a ton of new fans on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. And it seems like everyone who is becoming a fan of ours has some kind of personal story to share about I’ve Just Seen a Face and how that song affected them. It’s been amazing. It’s very much a dream.”

Suffice it to say that everyone attending the show in Fort Worth can count on Dawn & Hawkes to play I’ve Just Seen a Face again — and not only because it put them on the map literally overnight.

“Oh, there are so many good reasons to play that song,” Dawn says.

Hawkes, an Arlington native and University of North Texas alumnus, reveals that the song has added meaning to them because it mirrors the story of how they met.

“When I first saw Miranda,” he says, “it was across a smoky dance floor.”

It happened completely by chance, as opposed to their being introduced backstage while on tour or in a recording studio or because a producer thought they might make beautiful music together.

“I asked her to dance,” Hawkes says. “It was as simple as that.”

“Then came the crazy moment when he asked, ‘What do you do?’ ” Dawn says, continuing the tale. “I said, ‘I’m a songwriter. What do you do?’ He looked at me like it was some kind of inside joke. Then he laughed and told me he’s a songwriter, too.

“It’s so funny. Fifteen years ago, when my dad was first teaching me that song on the guitar, if someone could have read a crystal ball and told me I was going to meet the love of my life in the same way those lyrics were written and then perform that song with him on national television, that would have blown my mind as a young girl.”

“People talk about how being in a band is like being in a marriage,” Hawkes adds. “I never thought it made sense to be in a relationship and a musical partnership at the same time, but it does make sense.

“We both have stories of feeling like we were pushing our rocks uphill for a long time. I wouldn’t say that it was hard work, because it was so much fun. But it was constant work for both of us. Then, when we met each other, certain things fell in line.”

“Onstage, at our shows, Chris can give me a sideways look or play a certain note on his guitar and I know immediately which song he wants to play, just from that,” Dawn says. “That’s how it is for us. That’s how right it feels.”

Shakira, another celebrity musician/mentor on The Voice, immediately picked up on that chemistry during their blind audition. “It shows that you’re in love,” she told them.

There’s no knowing what being on The Voice ultimately might do for them. The eventual winner will receive a major-label recording contract, but the couple say they already feel like winners.

Now that the blind auditions are over and 48 acts were selected to advance, the elimination Battle Rounds have begun this week. That means more face time on national TV for Dawn & Hawkes — and at least one more opportunity to wow the public with their soaring harmonies.

What can viewers expect when they see more of the two onstage?

“We really like a lot of what we would call classic music: a lot of old country and blues, a lot of stuff with heavy roots in Texas,” Hawkes says. “We like stuff that kind of makes you feel a little something from the lyrics and then a little something from the rhythm.”

Their musical favorites range from Led Zeppelin to Lucinda Williams and all points in between.

As long as it’s good and as long as it’s genuine, Dawn says, they like it.

“When we first started talking about other bands and influences and Miranda said Led Zeppelin,” Hawkes remembers, “there was a part of me that fell in love right then and there.”

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