Family band spreads Texas sound

RACHAEL DICKSON/CONTRIBUTOR PHOTO Local band Double Portion and the K3 Sisters perform at Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church on June 11.

A local family country band has been spreading music and joy around Texas for the last few years, and they have no plans of stopping anytime soon.

Parents Bruce and Jamie Kassab met onstage. Jamie sang with the Shipmans and the Light Crust Doughboys. Bruce plays mandolin, guitar and banjo. They have won several awards performing as Double Portion from the Country Gospel Music Guild and the Christian Country Music Association. The K3 Sisters, made up of nine-year-old Kaylen, seven-year-old Kelsey, and five-year-old Kristen, grew up backstage at their parents' concerts.

"After Kaylen was born, we were booked to play at the Ryman auditorium in Nashville," Jamie said. "Kaylen was backstage in a bassinet with my mom.”

The girls all sing, play fiddle and study Scottish dance. Kaylen also yodels on one of the band's songs. Their parents, both trained teachers, homeschool their daughters.

Bruce said that the day Kaylen was born, he commented that she had the fingers of a fiddle player. Kaylen started studying Suzuki violin when she was three years old.

"While [The Suzuki teachers] were teaching her violin, I was teaching her fiddle," Bruce said.

"With us, they were having to learn double the repertoire," Jamie added.

The K3 Sisters have become a popular part of the family act. At a recent performance at Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas, Kaylen and Kelsey played violin on several songs with their parents. Youngest daughter Kristen danced, provided commentary and made faces for the crowd during many songs.

"No matter what we did tonight at the show, their eyes were riveted on the kids," Bruce said.

"We're in a unique position," Jamie said. "Everybody loves kids. The youth are where it's at."

The girls enjoy performing with their parents.

"It's pretty cool because we get to play for people that don't hear music often and sometimes don't have homes," Kaylen said. The family band often plays for charities around the Metroplex, including some benefiting the homeless.

"We play everywhere - for seniors, at churches a lot, for other boys and girls. We also do music for festivals and city events," Kelsey said.

The girls like many types of music, but enjoy listening to country singer Taylor Swift and Disney stars including Hannah Montana and Selena Gomez.

"I love the Jonas Brothers," Kristen said. "They're so cute. I want to kiss them!"

The K3 Sisters have many plans for their future. While Kaylen wants to become a clothes designer and artist, Kelsey wants to work with animals as a veterinarian. Kristen hopes to grow up to be a guitar player and a princess.

"People always asked us if we had any CDs with the girls on them," Bruce said. "So we did a CD that features them on every song." Only a few copies of "Dancin' with the Angels" are left of the limited run of 1,000 CDs. All proceeds from the CDs go to the North American Mission Board, which helps funds the Kassab's mission work in North Texas.

The girls hope to come up with a logo for the K3 Sisters and would like to eventually create T-shirts.

"This is not easy for the girls," Bruce said. "This is a lot of work. They sacrifice in order to be entertainers as children. We're always on that line of encouraging them and rehearsing."

The band is already working on revamping their music repertoire for future CDs and performances.

"The next album is going to be even better and showier because the girls are still improving on their skills," Jamie said.

The girls are into Disney princesses and are working on preparing Disney songs for upcoming performances.

"We want to keep it fun for them," Jamie said. "We let them be part of the decision making."

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