Interview of Karalyn Woulas from the Band “Karalyn and the Dawn Patrol” from Cocoa Beach, Florida: Leading the Charge!

Suzanne Sanchez 


Featured Image by: Alicia Olink



Karalyn Woulas agreed to sit down with me on this beautiful Saturday. Singer songwriter Karalyn Woulas began as an acoustic act performing at open mic night. This Space Force engineer is now dominating central Florida’s music scene. As one of the lead performers in central Florida, lead vocalist and guitar for the band, Karalyn is leading the charge for female artists. This group of talented musicians have
been storming the stages all over central Florida for 12 years now.

Beyond my own expectations this band has musical experience that is multidimensional. Her voice is so smooth with beach inspired vibes. And then she’ll hit other ranges to covering songs from Motely Crue, Cranberries, and Blonde. Their sound is unique. Currently they’re pushing out singles and creating a sound all their own. They’re straightforward no messing around. They get serious on stage with a very
humble presence about them. They are the real deal. Behind the music, there is such a story to tell.


Image by: Alicia Olink


Suzanne: Presently you have four members including yourself on vocals -guitar, Ricky Carroll-drummer, Mike Witherington-bass, and Gary Potter Jr. -guitar. All of you in “Karalyn and the Dawn Patrol” have led very interesting careers. Mike Witherington has over 30 years with the United Space Alliance. Ricky Carroll is known worldwide for his surfing and surfboards. Gary Potter Jr. from Los Angeles toured for 21 years professionally with many bands such as Daughters and The Midnight Renewal. And yourself being an engineer for Space Force and the City commissioner of Cocoa Beach. I think we can say you guys are go-getters! As a Space Force engineer, city commissioner and musician, how do you balance music and your career?


Karalyn-Luckily, I have a day job Monday through Friday. So usually, my job and band time do not conflict. During the weekdays at Space Force, and the weekends are at night playing gigs with the band. I do a lot of stuff for the band so that takes extra time, but I do that at night. I try to get some sleep lol.


Suzanne-How long have you been at Space Force and city commissioner position?


Karalyn– I have been in Space Force five years now. Three years ago, it was Airforce. Two years ago, it became Space Force. It changed branches. My present job is Range Safety Engineer. We are responsible for the flight termination in systems of all the rocket programs on the cape. This can be very stressful. I feel the pressure from all the programs as they want to launch. If I don’t approve something they cannot
launch. So, the pressure comes from the programs we work with to fit into their schedules so they can perform their launches. It’s fun but its work! For two terms I have been a city commissioner in Cocoa Beach, I have always been interested in the environmental and economic impact of our city. I love Cocoa beach, so I decided to apply for the position. First time I was not elected. But then elections were coming later that year. So that’s when I campaigned the whole year, in 2016. That was the hardest thing I have ever done. I won by 8 votes. No one ran against me last time so now I am in the second term.


Suzanne: Watching you guys perform, you all have a great chemistry, you’re tight musically and presentation-wise. I have discovered timing is a major element in the life cycle of a band. Would you agree?


Karalyn– Absolutely! I started this band about 12 years ago, but with different members throughout tat time. Potter {guitar player} has been with us for a year. The Bass and drummer have been with me for 10-11 years. I feel like the chemistry is excellent now. Our current guitar player Gary Potter was touring full time for 21 years nationally and internationally. He was living in LA when Covid hit and that killed the tours. I advertised needing a guitar player we had 6 different guitar players at that time just trying to keep the band together. Potter was relocating to Florida and responded to my ad. Eventually he was in our band full time.


Suzanne: With the Timing and the cycle of the band I see that your music is multidimensional, and you guys have developed your own sound so its hard to classify your genre of music. But I would say there’s a plethora of stuff going on here from folk, alternative, rock, and pop.


Karalyn-Yeah, I agree. We started out as Blues years ago, but since we have gotten Potter in the band we can play really anything. The creativity of the band has heightened and it’s exciting to see where we can go with this.


Suzanne: You are a complete performer, sing, play guitar and you are a songwriter. Two of my favorite songs are “Tired” and “You can Have him” . Was this personal experience?


Karalyn– Yes it’s about a guy he was an ex-boyfriend. He kept trying to be with me after I left him. I went to his home and followed another female into the home, and you can guess that was it for him!


Suzanne: I watched you years ago when you performed at live mike nights and now you are killing it with your band. It’s very impressive how you have excelled so much as a performer. Are you recording any new songs? And do you plan on pushing out an album?


Karalyn-I am currently recording at Studio 101 in the past year and working on vocal stuff with some songs and rerecording them. There are some other songs I am having the band record. Recently we I just put a music video out for one of the songs, called “Summer Kisses Winter Tears”. So, I have been advised to just put out songs one at a time and get it out on social media. I have someone who works on our social media branding, she is also my photographer. That’s the plan put out singles and build with that.


Suzanne: Even as Covid began to darken the path for musicians, your music success and aggressive social media approach continued to accelerate your popularity. Your live casting is amazing. I have watched you guys play live via video feed incorporating live requests from the fans while practicing in Ricky Carroll’s warehouse. This is a very innovative way of getting yourselves out there.


Karalyn: Things really started to evolve during Covid. Covid was somewhat difficult, but we took the down time to learn new material. We were lucky we were still able to play during Covid. There were times when our shows got cancelled and we had to rethink how to market things. That is when I started doing more solo acoustics, but then the venues started wanting bands again it all worked out. We decided to broadcast our practices during Covid and during that time so we could still be touch with the fans. We decided to do this once a month. We still do it; it is a lot of fun, and we are getting great responses from the fans. We are also putting out videos and playing throughout central Florida making our presence known.


Suzanne: Who handles the logistics?


Karalyn: Well, that would be myself. I am doing all the booking ect. They show up and play then I can direct the path for the band. That’s why I wanted to start my own band. When I was in Lady and the Tramps I was frustrated because I wasn’t heard. I had to go along with what other people were saying. I realized it was time to start my own. I am now able to choose the material and focus of the band’s direction. I do all the business end of the band.


Suzanne: You all have been playing all over central Florida, do you guys plan on touring?


Karalyn: I would love to tour if given the opportunity. I don’t really know how to go about touring the whole process. But right now we focused on getting gigs outside our area like in Vero beach, Port Orange just keep going further and expanding our area. And eventually Nationally and internationally


Suzanne: What are your 5-year plans, where do see yourself/band musically?


Karalyn-Ultimately, I would like this to be my career. Where I can make a living thru music. I always wanted to be a rockstar. At whatever level you can make it.


Suzanne: Your vocals are smooth, yet you can hit other ranges for Blonde, Cranberries, to Motely Crue its pretty amazing! Who would you love to play/tour with?


Karalyn: I would love to play with Bonny Rait, or Gwen Stefani.


Suzanne: Can you tell me your scariest experience?


Karalyn: Surfing in Costa Rica with a bunch if friends in Playa hermosa beach. Our first day the waves were huge even for the locals. Way over head, and this was dangerous more than any of us are used to, fast hollow waves. The guys were betting on if I would make it out, But I did it! I make it out but then I was waiting to try to get my bearings. Finally, a set came in. These guys are yelling at me saying “Hey Karolyn this is your wave!” I yelled back guys hang on. I grabbed on the board the wave crashed on all of us, we all almost drowned.


Suzanne: What is the message you would convey to the fans  and to the world?


Karalyn: Never give up on whatever your passion and if it doesn’t seem like its working try another way.


Image by: Alicia Olink






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