All of our concerts are cancelled and we’ve had to close our Lost Cowgirl Records studio down to visitors to keep our community safe. I’ve been having a hard time knowing how to continue to support musicians so I came up with the idea to start a new blog series, highlighting some songwriters who carry the Lost Cowgirl spirit.
Today I bring you the story of a new cowgirl based in Humboldt, Kansas named Damaris Kunkler! She participated in one of my Lost Cowgirl Records Songwriter rounds last year and told me she had never performed with other women until that summer. While lady musicians are a norm in my hometown of Kansas City and Lawrence, there are still small towns where it is something people don’t see as often. Damaris’ jovial spirit shined through her music that night and I was surprised to learn she was very new to performing out in public.
As Damaris entered her 40’s she wanted to do something that “would scare the shit out of her”. At first she thought it was skydiving, but then decided it had to be something challenging that could continue into the future. After twenty years of writing and singing in the privacy of her bedroom she decided she would challenge herself by performing out in public. “Shaking in her boots” is the way she described her first performance at Kirby’s Beer Store in Wichita, Kansas and was pleasantly surprised by how well her music was received. As her daughter entered senior year of high school, Damaris began to anticipate the single mother’s empty nest syndrome -- Her life had revolved around the kids for so long. She clearly remembers the Lord whisper to her “Music will be your new baby.” That is when she traded in her broke down guitar for a working one, bought the necessary sound equipment and has never looked back since.
Damaris recorded and released her first album “Come Sit By My Fire” one year ago on April 6, 2019, and that is something she never dreamed she would do. Last year she sang the National Anthem at the Kansas State Fair and performed two sets of original music as well. There were three costume changes that day and Damaris said she could remember her father - a Vietnam veteran saluting the entire time she sang the anthem and then he waved his cane over his head when she was finished. Her two kids are some of her biggest fans and were so proud to see their mom’s music on Itunes and Spotify.
I think her original music fits in the outlaw country genre but has a traditional spanish flare that makes it truly one of a kind. Damaris says that she doesn’t intentionally write the songs to have a latina feel, but she is glad her mexican culture is heard through the music. She has never received any formal musical theory, but writes from an emotional place straight from her heart with a wisdom that can only be acquired through experience. Damaris encompasses the brave and durable Lost Cowgirl spirit that I love in songwriters. She is making her own way, shining in her own uniqueness, and lives a life of intentional gratitude that is heard in her music.
“I don’t want to be famous, I just want to feel that my soul is soothed,” Damaris told me. “One current goal is to play at more festivals.” I am excited to watch Damaris Kunkler achieving this goal in the very near future and I have no doubt she will keep coming up with new ways to challenge herself as well. Find out more about Damaris on her website www.damarismusic.com. Thanks Damaris for letting me tell your story! Also be sure to check out our Lost Cowgirl store, order shirt of your own and listen to the music we have released! Stay well everybody. This is such a scary time for musicians but I encourage you all to keep writing and playing and please reach out if there is anything we can do to help you during this time.