A song in her soul


Local News

April 12, 2019 - 6:25 PM

For all the accolades she?s received ? a singer/songwriter award from Lawrence and increased demand to perform across the state, etc. ? Damaris Kunkler still isn?t comfortable calling herself a genuine singer/songwriter.

You could have fooled the large crowd that gathered at Iola?s Timeout Tavern last weekend to celebrate the launch of Kunkler?s debut, self-published CD, ?Come Sit By My Fire,? which consists of tunes and ballads she?s written over the past 20 years or so.

The capacity crowd hooted and hollered to each of Kunkler?s songs, all of which she performed solo on her acoustic guitar.

?As for the performing part, it?s something I enjoy,? Kunkler said, ?and I enjoy meeting lots of people.?

So popular was the performance, Kunkler nearly sold out of all 100 CDs she brought with her to the performance.

?Gotta order more,? she laughed. ?That was cool.?

The CD is the latest in a journey that started at childhood, when Kunkler?s father, Leon, would sing to her each night before bed.

?Some dads would read to their kids,? she said. ?Mine would play ?House of the Rising Sun.?

Eventually, Leon taught his daughter how to play.

?Once you get a few chords down, you can play almost anything,? he told her.

She took to it quickly, but largely kept the music to herself.


KUNKLER?S history with music belies her energetic personality.

While she?s never been shy about meeting new people, she shied away from performing her music in front of anyone. ?The music,? she figured, ?was just for me.?

For the next 20 years, Kunkler would play, usually at home, and only for her kids, son Arion and daughter Elysia. (Two of the songs in her debut CD are lullabies she?d written for each.)