Katherine Dawn, Texas Ladybugs Up for a 2010 Texas Music Award
Katherine Dawn, nominated for a 2010 Texas Music Award for Female Vocalist, is is one of the most prolific artists from the Lone Star State. The former Cypress songstress, currently with the Texas Ladybugs, has over 30 years experience and a compilation of her songs in a 2-CD set KD 25 In TX to commemorate her music from 1978 to 2003.
Dawn says consistency accounts for her longevity on the Texas scene as well as respect for self expression and sharing life experiences. Her advice to other musicians?
"Concentrate on entertaining your fans and always strive to communicate what makes the whole process enjoyable for you as an artist. Record, record, record. Don't wait to be "discovered" to release your work. Fix everything you want no matter how long it takes. Pay to have professional engineers record your final releases. Play when you can, while you can. Don't ever let anyone tell you it can't be done."
Compiling KD 25 In TX
While creating a new work space and going through boxes and boxes of vinyl, cassettes, cd's and recordings, she found one of her first songs written when she was 9 years old. One of her mentors, the late great Big Bill Lister, used to tell her, "Ladybug, in this business you are only as great as your latest."
Lister visited her almost every week for the last 2 years of his life. He passed away on Dec. 1, 2010. Lister became Dawn's mentor when she was 13 yrs old. She started playing music with his son, Weldon, in middle school and formed Cypress. He nicknamed her "Ladybug."
Her producer of 20 years, David Helms, sorted through all the recordings, some of which were in need of repair before transferring them from cassette to digital. They were brittle from years of storage. They began in January of 2009 and released it in September of that year.
The CD case has a collage of pictures from those times. She says, it would have been 3 discs if it had included all her favorites. They chose 25 tracks for 25 years, all recorded in Texas.
Katherine Dawn Forms Texas Ladybugs
A couple of months before he passed away they were discussing her next record and Dawn shared with him how lonely she had become as a solo artist. He said "Well LadyBug, maybe you should put together an all female group."
That suggestion became a "must do" after a night in San Marcos, TX at Cheatum Street Warehouse where Dawn played a benefit for Toys for Tots and heard a group called The Trisha's. She started working on the logo the morning after a dream about a similar group called Texas Ladybugs. She secured the domain on Lister's birthday, January 5th.
Katherine Dawn's Influences
Dawn performed with Asleep at The Wheel and Delbert McClinton while keeping her day job working as a cosmetologist. She cites these other influences: Dolly Parton, Bobby Gentry (Roberta Streeter), Joan Baez, Patsy Cline, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Michael Jackson, Carol Burnett, Neil Diamond, Ginnie Lawrence, Willie Nelson, Jessie Colter, Augie Meyers, Leon Russel, Doug Sahm.
"The 1970s' and country/blues music were magical!"
She has never performed outside of the US as an adult, but when she was 10 years old she went on a 14-month tour with her father to hundreds of drag strips and race tracks all over the US and Canada for 3 months.
The Texas LadyBugs' first release is planned for May and they'll be looking for a sponsor or band seeking an opening act for their tour.