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Making Music

Austin duo Dawn and Hawkes makes national waves with The Voice audition

Dawn & Hawkes on NBC's The Voice
Dawn and Hawkes represented Texas well on NBC's The Voice. NBC.com
Dawn & Hawkes
Though the couple now lives in Austin, Chris Hawkes (left) graduated from Arlington High School. They play in his hometown on May 30, at Levitt Pavilion. Photo by Kevin Short

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl play beautiful music together. It’s a story as old as time, one that happened to Paul and Linda, Johnny, and June, John and Yoko. You can now add Dawn and Hawkes to that list, an Austin duo that is making waves on NBC’s The Voice.

The duo's audition prompted judge Adam Levine to proclaim Dawn and Hawkes' rendition of The Beatles’ "I’ve Just Seen A Face" as "the best Voice performance ever."

Native Austinite Miranda Dawn met transplant Chris Hawkes in a typical local scenario: dancing to the blues. But love didn’t come immediately. The duo played together occasionally, but it wasn’t until a few weeks of collaboration that the two started dating. And the rest is history.

"The day after our first date we wrote our first song together and started what has turned into a full set of Dawn and Hawkes songs. We had no idea whether or not our fans would dig the collaboration, until we went on our first tour together and shared a mini-set together in between our solo sets," Dawn says.

Both have a musical background that came almost as naturally as their relationship. Dawn grew up in South Austin listening to her dad play drums with a variety of Austin bands. She started songwriting as a kid. "I was really influenced by the lyrics and melodies of writers like Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin and John Prine," she says. Raised in North Texas, Hawkes tried his hand with a few rock bands before relocating to Austin in 2006 and establishing himself as a solo artist.

So, what takes a twosome from Austin’s stage to national television? Audition dates for The Voice happened to line up with the band’s first West Coast tour. "Being suckers for serendipity, we said, 'absolutely!' We couldn't turn down such an exceptional opportunity to grow as performers and partners with each other," gushes the duo. 

While Dawn and Hawkes' journey on the show has only just begun (the season started airing on February 24) they look forward to working with coach Adam Levine. "We felt most at home with Adam. He spoke to our influences and focus on classic music with sincerity, and he's a real strong blend of songwriter, collaborator and performer," says Dawn.

The duo hopes that by working with Levine — and being in the NBC spotlight — Dawn and Hawkes can continue to build a connection with the national audience. "We play music from our heart, and it seems like America can feel it. That's amazing," Dawn says. 

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