Colleen Duhart has a 20-something story that many can commiserate with. When she returned to St. Louis from school at Southeastern Missouri State University in 2011, she found a full-time day job at local nonprofit Forest Releaf and moved from her parents’ house and out on her own. But something was missing.
That’s when music came back into her life—with the help of the people she had just moved away from, her parents. Colleen and Dean Duhart, her father, started a country acoustic group called Daddy’s Girl Band in her childhood home. Fast forward five years later and the duo, now matched with Steve and Mike Krenski, are preparing to release their first album of original music under the name Duhart.
"It's brought us closer,” Colleen said. “There are challenges, but it is because we're so much alike. We even got in a fight on our way in here. But, there's no one else I'd rather do it with.”
As far as the music goes, though, the two see eye-to-eye, naming influences such as Miranda Lambert, the Eagles and Jackson Brown.
Both Colleen and Dean retain their full-time jobs, though they’ve been musicians their whole life. Dean said it has been challenging at times when he knows music is his true passion but he still has to temper that with his day job.
"I'm living my life again through Colleen,” Dean said. “She's going through what my hopes and dreams were in my '20s. I think she can carry on the tradition and make it farther than I did.”
“Right now, we’re taking it day-by-day,” Colleen said. “I still do have to pay my bills and I love my job. Right now, we’re excited to play new venues. I’m really trying to get into songwriting and making as many connections as possible.”
The group recently played at The Commodore in Nashville. Colleen said it had been merely a dream to perform at The Commodore not even a year before. It was received positively, Dean said.
“People clapped, that’s all you can really hope for,” Colleen said.
The group performs several times a week around St. Louis in wineries, bars and private events. You can find their schedule here. Their upcoming album should be released some time in February, Colleen said.
Despite the intense performing and work schedules, Dean said the music is worth it.
“Music has a tendency to bring life to you, when you’re out there performing. It is almost a way of relaxing for me. Even if we get off at 12 at night, I’m ready to go.”
You can listen to selections from the band’s original repertoire during the interview, in which they play “Cold Feet,” written by Colleen, and “I Will Understand,” written by Dean. Both songs deal with themes of commitment, marriage and what timing is right.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh, and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.