Kimberly Dunn

Kimberly Dunn

Matt Conant

Kimberly Dunn's debut full-length album, Forever on the Run, was truly a group effort. Without her generous fans, it might never have happened.

"It's been a long time coming. It's taken me about three years to totally finish it," she told Billboard. "It was 100 percent funded by my fans from three Kickstarter campaigns that I did. The opportunity to be able to sell it for what people wanted to pay for it was my plan. I wanted to simply get the music in front of as many people as possible. It's been an incredible road in getting to that point. I'm really excited to see what comes out of it."

When asked if she viewed utilizing the funding of her fans via Kickstarter as more or less pressure, she didn't hesitate, as she definitely wants her investors to be happy.

"I would say that there is more pressure. I definitely want to put out a product that they are proud of. In the very beginning, they put their faith in me and my acoustic videos and shows before I even had a full band. None of us really knew what it was going to be until it was what it was. We raised $5,000 more for the full-length album than the EPs, and we did it in record time, so they were excited about hearing it. So we must be doing something right, if they wanted more. It's just exciting to see what we are putting out is being taken well at our shows, and also with the radio support we've been getting -- not just here in Texas, but also Oklahoma and Kansas, as well as overseas in countries such as Belgium and France, where we have gotten airplay."

Go On the Road With Billboard

The current focus track from Forever on the Run is "Trashy Side," for which she has shot a video. She says she has always managed to take her musical influence from a wide variety of artists and styles.

"I grew up listening to 104.5 in San Antonio, which was the classic rock radio station, I listened to a lot of AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Led Zeppelin and that kind of stuff. My parents were very versatile and also loved a lot of country and bluegrass like Clint Black and Alison Krauss. Then, in my teenage years, I remember becoming really influenced by Nickel Creek and Chris Thile. It's so funny, because now these days, country music is kind of a mold of everything -- a little bit of rock, a little bit of pop and a little bit of bluegrass. That's what I've wanted to do all my life."

Charity work is something that is very special to the stunning songstress. She has been a part of the lineup for Granger Smith's "Boot Walk" event since 2013, and she even has a nonprofit foundation of her own. "It's called the Dunn Good Foundation. Every month, we do a 'Dunn Good Deed' of the month. I just ran the Austin half-marathon in support of a group called Dogs Out Loud. They are a group that helps really gigantic dogs that are harder to be adopted. They put them through therapy so they are more adoptable. Having a few big dogs myself, I have a huge spot in my heart for them." Dunn, a former Girl Scout, will also be giving of her time for a couple of camp workshops for the organization later this summer.

Dunn is also very proud of the songwriting process on the album. Two of the songs, "Dream Girl" and "Randy Rogers," came from a similar place despite their difference of tempo. She had written them about a former boyfriend, who has shown up in the merchandise line before and has sent his friends to shows to see her.

"Back at the very beginning, he came to one of the acoustic shows. His parents have come to multiple shows. He still lives in Colorado, and we just were at Steamboat Music Fest. He just had a daughter, and he's been busy with that. But when I was in Steamboat, one of his friends came to me at one of my shows and said, 'Hey, you don't know me, but I know someone that you wrote a song about.' I asked who, and he said, 'Tim,' and I thought, 'Oh, that's neat. How's he doing? I haven't heard his name in forever.' He updated me and told me that Tim had told him I was going to be playing. I thought, 'Wow, he keeps up with me. That's cool.' It's just great that I've gotten to this point, and I've gotten to the point that he said I should be at, and I've gotten further than that already. It just brings a smile to my face thinking about it," she says with a grin, implying that sometimes the songwriter gets the last laugh.

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