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Dawn Cooksey: Because it's therapy

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"I write songs because I need to," said Yellow Springs singer/songwriter Dawn Cooksey. "I would write them even if I didn't play them for anyone."

It's therapy, she said, and she knows a little bit about that because she is a therapist and a licensed social worker. For a time, she worked for an agency in Hamilton, and through her contacts began performing for the Farmer's Market, which in turn led to her upcoming appearance at the Music Cafe on Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Born in Dayton, Cooksey lived several years in Austin, Texas, where she performed in the folk/alternative rock band Dik Dam Dyk. It was in the Austin open mic nights that she overcame her fear of performing her own songs.

"I didn't think anyone would care about my problems," she said. "I'd be a wreck for days before a gig, but I told myself I'd go every week until I'm not scared anymore.

"It took a long time."

Her songs tend to be sad, mad and everywhere in between, she said. "There have been a few exceptions, but I generally don't write when I'm happy and enjoying my life — which is most of the time.

"There are a few exceptions that blow me away, but happy songs tend to be kind of dorky anyway," she said.

She has a band, 68 South.

 Dawn Cooksey on MySpace

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