Dawn grew up in the Ozarks amid lots of mountain music, arts, storytelling, beautiful hills and rivers. She taught herself to play guitar at 13. At a family gathering at about that age, after she had finished singing and was taking a break, her mother pulled her aside and asked, “Don’t you know anything besides death and dying music?” Hence, her “I love death and dyin music!” slogan. Though mainly a solo act, she sometimes plays music with her son, Jacob Niceley, as well as other local players, as The Vicious Hillbillies.
Repeatedly asked by fans to produce a CD, her music seems to speak to audiences, handling emotional subjects with grace and comedy. She writes about her experiences. She recently released The Vicious Hillbilly, 10 original songs, that a fan described as: “Part Patty Griffin… part Todd Snider…part Linda Ronstadt…ALL honest, soulful lyrics combining Americana, alt-Country, Blues, and Folk musical styles while exploring life as a progressive, mature, hillbilly girl living in the deep south.” Her lyric-driven music, as well as humorous stories that accompany the songs, are a perfect fit to listening environments. She regularly plays house concerts, festivals, pubs, listening rooms and other events.
Dawn’s song-craft is exceptional. She is capable of painting a crystal-clear image of human experience, most of which has been drawn from her own history, in a way that is at times both humorous and poignant, joyous and bittersweet. If you have not seen and heard her perform, you are in for a treat. If you have, you’ll be ready to go back for more. – Scott Eutsler, Spirithaven VA
“Dawn’s musical style is rooted in folk and country genres. Her catchy lyrics engagingly explore human frailties and, of course, unrequited love.” – Vince & Mara, Grotto Fine Wine, SC
“Hosted a house concert here at Spoon Mountain Farm and featured Dawn. We all loved her! Great voice, presence and lyrics. Oh the lyrics! Hope to have her join us again soon. “ – Sarah Reyburn, Spoon Mountain VA