Dear Darling released its debut album and will be performing with some well known singers during a music-themed cruise later this month. From left, Casey Lipka, Hannah Jane Kile, and Natalie Hagwood form the new musical trio. Photo submitted

Musical group with local roots releases debut album; wins competition

By Mari Erin Roth

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Staff Writer

Dear Darling is the name of a new musical group that stepped onto the outdoor stage at the Kepple Ranch in Quincy just as Covid 19 walked into our lives. Coincidently, as we are seeing the light at the end of the Covid tunnel, Dear Darling is releasing their debut album into the world of music.



The group has roots in Plumas County with Natalie Hagwood (formerly Kepple) who was raised here, but is calling Sacramento their hometown where their first recordings took place. The group features Natalie singing and playing cello, Casey Lipka singing and playing stand up bass, and Hannah Jane Kile singing and playing guitar.


The themes of the group’s original music focuses on self-empowerment, unconditional love, and “following your dreams.” Casey brought the three together initially and shortly thereafter the women started collaborating to create their own original music. They named the musical ideas brought to each other “song seeds.” Together, at their song writing retreat, they nurtured them into the collection that eventually formed the now available debut release.


Local Plumas Community radio station, KQNY 91.9, is running a live interview with the trio at the end of The Independent Track music show airing Friday, March 4 and Sunday, March 6. The interview will play at approximately 8:45 p.m. Friday and 2:45 p.m. Sunday, locally and live-stream. It is also available any time on by searching Dear Darling Debut.


After an extensive competition, Dear Darling was selected to perform as one of three opening acts for the 14th annual Cayamo Sixth Man Soundcheck Festival, a 7-day Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Pearl. The festival puts the new California trio on the same line up as Americana artists Emmy Lou Harris, Punch Brothers, the Indigo Girls and Grace Potter. The musical ladies depart March 18-25 from Miami to St. Thomas and St. Kitts.



“It’s mostly about the music,” said Natalie describing how the cruise will be days spent on the open water soaking up the sounds. The cruise is presently sold out but you never know, there is a waiting list for any hopefuls.


Good news for any who missed the boat, Dear Darling is hosting a combination Bon Voyage and release party March 12, from 7:30-10 p.m., online. The livestream concert will feature songs from the album and special arrangements created just for the cruise. The special guest opener will be Grace Clark. Information on the concert, the album and all other things “Dear Darling” can be found at