In addition to their two nominations, Walter Finley and April Dawn will be performing at the event.
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina — North Carolina country music duo Walter Finley and April Dawn are looking forward to Saturday night. The couple were nominated for “Duo of the Year” for the third year in a row and were nominated for “Country Tour of the Year” at the Carolina Country Music Awards.
The couple, who have won the “Duo of the Year” award twice in the past, will also perform at the award, which begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at the House of Blues Myrtle Beach.
“It’s, well, a great sense of belonging—and it’s a great feeling to be recognized,” Finley said. It’s beautiful.”
Finley and Dawn said the Carolina Country Music Awards feel like a “large family of musicians” from all over the state of Carolina under one roof.
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Finley has been a musician for years, and when he was offered to try writing country music, he decided to dive right in. Finley moved to the Columbia area of South Carolina to hone his country music skills, ending up in Myrtle Beach and eventually Lake Norman.
It was Lake Norman that connected Finley and Dawn.
Finley was playing at a party at Lake Norman’s The Point, and Dawn was the photographer. When Finley asked the audience for a request, Dawn repeatedly tried to suggest. Each time, Finley didn’t know enough to play the song. Finally, he jokingly asked her if she could play it, and she said yes.
Over time, Finley and Dawn learned that their voices fit together perfectly.
“That’s where it all started,” said Finley. “Then she started coming to my gigs. One day she stood up and sang every song, every harmony perfectly. There’s one mic that I think she’s been on for five years.”
Dawn grew up on a farm near Concord. The daughter of two bluegrass music teachers, she jokes that she’s country. Finley says she always dreamed of singing harmonies with someone, and she now does it. Their story is also captured in Finley’s song “April Dawn.”
Now, the couple can perform together on shows in Carolina State and beyond.
“When Walter said gig, I hit him in the car,” Dawn said. “
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Even during the pandemic, they found a way to share their music with others: set up on a dock on Lake Norman and play for boaters every week.
The couple said their chances of connecting with others through music were unbeatable.
“The best part is the performance,” said Finley. “No matter what’s going on in your life, you can face the worst pain. Feel nothing while you’re playing. Feel the freedom.” It’s the best feeling.”
Finley and Dawn want their music to inspire others.
“Walter and I feel the same. I feel there,” said Dawn. she said.
Finley has performed all over the country, but being part of the Carolina country music scene feels more like family than competition with other musicians.
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