Today we’d like to introduce you to Dallas and Janell.
Hi Dallas and Janell, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Dallas: Music has always been a part of both of our lives growing up. I started out in high school playing with my family band with my parents, two brothers, and sister. Each of us had a different instrument, and we all took part in the singing. We played all over the Midwest at fairs, bars, and other venues. I continued with the music as I got older by playing in two separate bands, one with my dad and younger brother, and the other with my dad and little sister. Doing this kept the family involved in both projects. While performing with the bands, I wanted to venture out on my own a little, so I started performing as a solo acoustic act on the side.
I knew I wanted to be a singer ever since I was a little girl. I grew up singing in choir all throughout school and college, in the church choir with my parents and sister and leading the music as a cantor, and also sang in several weddings. It was always my dream to sing in a band, and I was able to fulfill that dream when I got the chance to be a backup singer in a cover band when I lived in Memphis, TN.
Our duo began years later when we met teaching middle school students. As I got to know Janell better and learned of her music background, I introduced the idea of her singing with me at one of my acoustic shows. After that first show together, it just kind of clicked! We have been singing as an acoustic duo now for just over two years.
When people ask us at gigs if we do music for a living, it’s fun to see people’s surprised reactions after we tell them that we’re actually teachers by day and musicians by night!
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Janell: Since we’re both teachers, sometimes it can be challenging with having to manage our time with our full-time jobs and our music. Dallas even coaches’ high school and middle school sports all three seasons during the school year, so he has to work around his coaching schedule. We honestly do not have time to schedule practices or rehearsals, so we just practice the songs on our own and then come together at gigs to put it all together with our voices and the guitar. It’s always fun when we are impressing ourselves with how good a song sounds when it’s the first time, we’ve played it together.
Another challenge was at the beginning of our time as a duo. We were working on getting venues to take a chance on us since we didn’t have a history together. It was a struggle at times because we were new to the music scene in the area. Thankfully, once we got booked, they all wanted us back.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Janell: We are a local Kansas City acoustic duo and play a wide variety of favorite country hits from artists like Lady A, Little Big Town, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Garth Brooks, and many more. With a few surprises thrown into the mix, we love bringing in a great show! People compliment us about how our voices blend so well together, and we’re definitely proud of that. I love singing harmony and ever since I was younger, finding harmony parts has come to me naturally. We’re known for our harmonies, and the way our voices blend together sets us apart from other people. We love getting complimented on it all the time!
It’s always fun to hear different people tell us that we should go to Nashville and pursue our music career further on an even more professional level. What sets us apart from other musicians is that the different venues like the fact that we keep the music going and rarely take breaks in our shows. We truly have a genuine love for the music. Janell’s voice compliments mine, and it has added so much to what I was already doing solo. We’re proud of the fact that our reputation has gotten to the point where venues pursue us as much or more than we pursue them. After only singing together for just over two years, it’s to the point where there aren’t many spots open on the calendar.
Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
Dallas: It’s important to not be afraid to take risks. In this business, taking risks is the only way you advance to the goals you have set for yourself. The way you have to put yourself out there is a risk in itself. It’s always a risk to put yourself out there with different venues you are trying to get booked in. You have to sell yourself as someone who can be the right fit for a venue, then have to back it up when they take a chance on you. So far, it’s always been worth the effort because every place that booked us has hired us back, and it has gotten our name out there.
There are also family risks of not spending many weekend nights with our families so that we can continue to perform. Fortunately, we both have supportive families who allow us to pursue this life of being musicians!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @dallasandjanell
- Facebook: @DallasandJanell
Katy Avila Photography