HALLSVILLE, Texas — An East Texas band is making a name for itself across the state and soon around the world. People might assume it’s a country band, but it’s actually a music group that plays the blues from their heart.
The Kim Donnette Band is representing the Piney Woods through bass, saxophone, strong vocals and much more.
Lead singer Kim Donnette said their schedule is starting to fill up to the point where she needs a secretary, especially since they just came off of winning first place at the International Blues Challenge in Dallas.
That is an experience drummer and stage manager for the band Rodney Beal said he won't forget.
"To tell you the truth at kind of about halfway through I felt like we had it," Beal said. "There was some fantastic talent in that place."
They are now preparing to compete at their biggest competition yet at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, where the band gets to showcase what East Texas is all about to other competitors and blues fans.
"They'll have blues bands from Europe, they'll have blues bands from Russia, they have blues bands from the Philippines, Africa and all kinds of places," Donnette said.
For the band, it wasn’t just as easy as applying to compete and hope to preform. Winning the competition was a step in even getting considered to compete in Memphis. It's a process the band members said many blues bands have to endure to perform on this international level in January.
But, the Kim Donnette Band's talented members defies the odds because there is no blues society representing the Piney Woods. Donnette said that hasn’t stopped them from pushing boundaries and traveling.
"Which is why we've traveled to San Angelo and why we've traveled to Dallas because we love blues," Donnette said. "We love all that good solid roots music and I just hate the thought of it not getting represented."
"I represent my friends and my loved ones and the music I love in a whole other state and hopefully make them say, 'Huh,' and pay attention to East Texas," Donnette said.
This weekend, the Kim Donnette Band will be performing at the upcoming Gregg County Fair.
If you want to help them get to Memphis comfortably, they are currently looking for sponsors and are in need of more funding to send all six members to compete. Check out their website with this link to find out how you can contact the band and help them achieve their dreams.
You can also find the band on Facebook as well.