LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. – A singer and songwriter ever since she can remember, Carissa Dawn is a down-to-earth, Mid-Missouri girl who works hard to live out her childhood dream as a performer playing throughout Missouri and surrounding states.
Her leading project 'Rad & Rissa,' an energetic acoustic duo, has been performed at Lake of the Ozarks, Jefferson City and Columbia. Though country is their genre of choice and passion, the duo covers a plethora of crowd-pleasing hit songs streaming from yesterday's and today's pop culture. With the Lake as their "happy place" atmosphere, they have played at JJ Twig's, and are currently booking for the summer season.
Exercising her vocal talent in children's theater and high school choirs, Carissa "Rissa" Dawn (Lead Vocalist) discovered a true calling for performing arts. Although loving all stylistic forms of music, her suggestive artistic vocalizing views came from Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, and Mariah Carey. Growing into adult life, she was hesitant to start a band at first due to fear of failure and embarrassment. Instead, she began to jam with a group here from the Lake area community in 2007. Recruited for a job position in 2008, she moved to Memphis and joined a group called the Jimmy Hudson Band, a rock and blues band. Carissa added the country element they were looking for as the group performed throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas. In 2010, in a decision to go back to Grad School to earn her Masters Degree, she moved back to Missouri. While getting acclimated from the move, Carissa went and formed her first band. Unfortunately, the country was in the heart of the economic recession, putting many club owners and management in a hard spot of financially affording a traveling band. Giving it some thought, she sought out to take a different approach and downsized to a two-piece group. Meeting up on Craigs List, Justin "Rad" Conrad (Guitar and Vocals) and Carissa met at an open mic night and performed a few songs together, and have been teamed up ever since.
Originally from Moberly, Mo., Justin has been a guitarist, vocalist, and drummer for a few different local bands. However, he currently resides in Columbia, Mo., where he is continuously working on music and attending Columbia College of Missouri (CCM).
Gifted with the ability to write music, Carissa's song-writing style appeals to more of a country audience with songs many of us can emotionally relate to. Being a faith-based kind of gal, some of her songs are also Contemperary-Christian-Crossover tunes with leading inspirations from church messages, life experiences, and a bit of humor.
However, in 2006, she wrote and dedicated the song "Easier Said Than Done" to her late father after tragically losing him to cancer. After years and much money spent on college, Carissa is now ready and anticipates much studio time to record her originals in 2012.
Rad & Rissa at WWU Sept 2011
Rad & Rissa March 18th, 2011 JJTWIGS Lake Ozark MO