“We knew from the first downbeat that we wanted to get involved with Kimberly,” says Harrison, who also works as an engineer at Ray Benson’s Bismeaux Recording Studio in Austin. Dunn recorded her debut EP, One Foot Over The Other, at Bismeaux, with Harrison producing.
Everything seems to be happening fast, but it’s going according to a plan Dunn conceived while attending Northside Health Careers High School, a magnet school in San Antonio. Dunn wanted to be a veterinarian at a young age, but after seeing Eric Johnson in concert when she was 13, and buying a guitar the next day, she switched her long-term goal to a music career.
“I decided that I would concentrate on graduating from A&M where her parents and two sisters also attended, and then I would spend the next years pursuing music full time.” Dunn graduated August 14, her 23rd birthday, with a degree in agricultural leadership and a minor in music, and is ready to make her mark on Texas Country.
Her calling card to the male-dominated scene, which some call “red dirt music,” is a bittersweet yet feisty song about the healing powers of music called “Randy Rogers.” In it, Dunn looks back on a romance gone sour and recalls the music of that once-blissful time. Besides Rogers, others mentioned in the catchy chorus include Eli Young Band, Granger Smith and Stoney LaRue.
bio2“I wrote that song about some of the Texas Country artists I had come to love during a certain time in my life and to be able to meet them and play shows with some of them just blows me away,” she says.
Dunn has opened shows for Smith, as well as Kyle Park and Aaron Watson. She also guests with Wichita Falls singer Johnny Cooper on his single “Movin’ On.”
“When you think about how far Kimberly has come in just a year from her first gig, you realize that, yes, musical talent has a lot to do with it,” says Willson. “But it’s also because Kimberly is so much fun, such a force of nature. People want to be around her.”
But Dunn seeks complete seclusion when she writes songs. “I like to have my time with my songs before I give them to everybody else,” she says. Building her material on the melody, she sometimes starts off on harmonica and moves to mandolin. She’ll record her ideas on her iPhone but won’t play them for anyone until she feels that they’re complete. “I’ve always been that way with songwriting,” she says. “I have to develop the songs on my own.”
Young, spunky, bold, ready. Kimberly Dunn. Sounds just about right.