Kyle Domangue’s office is lined with hand-drawn festival posters, CD release plaques, and intricate futuristic architectural designs. In title, he’s Vice President of Architecture at Duplantis Design Group (DDG) in Thibodaux. Look a little deeper, and he’s a creative soul who loves to tell a story and strives to leave a legacy behind through music.
Kyle is a native of Houma who has been playing music since childhood. His mother had guitars in the house while growing up, where he would pick it up, picking around on the neck until it made a melodic sound. Although she tried to teach him music by John Denver, his heart always led him to want to play music such as Led Zeppelin and Boston. He later picked up an electric guitar, and that was the beginning of his musical journey. He has been playing, writing, and recording music since he was 12. He attended Louisiana State University to study architecture and worked in the summers as an airbrush artist at a Christian retreat center, “Noah’s Ark” in Panama City, Florida. While there, they had music ministry at 8 and 10 p.m. on the beach. One day, he was playing the guitar, not thinking anyone was listening, but someone was. They offered the opportunity to play, and it was there he began his transition from a timid college student who had crippling stage fright to the beginning of his acoustic guitar career.
Serving the country is rooted in Kyle’s family; his grandfathers, fathers and uncles all served in military services. Kyle has memorabilia, such as ribbons and hats, from his grandparents and has always been amazed at the dedication the generation had. He went on to serve as an Army Tank Commander in Operation Desert Storm, which helped pay his way through college. After a year away, he returned home to Baton Rouge, where his previous Kmart job was no longer there. While he was at a microbrewery one day, a musician was playing, and it prompted the idea of starting a career playing on stages around LSU. “Next thing you knew,” he said,” I was playing at all of the college bars and paying my way through college. It was a lot of fun.” He moved back home to Bourg with his high school sweetheart, where they married and had their first child. Tragedy hit when, at just 30 years of age, his wife lost her battle to cancer, leaving him and their two-year-old daughter to figure out where life would lead them next.
He then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where the band “The Preserve” was started in 2007. The group consists of Jaques Billeaud of Phoenix, Arizona, and Chris Fiscus of Tempe, Arizona on Drums. They have released two albums, opened for bands such as The Doobie Brothers and Gin Blossoms, and shared the stage with Pistoleros. Kyle moved back to South Louisiana when the housing values dropped almost overnight, causing economic struggles in the Arizona community. The band tapered off at this point. Besides the two albums, Kyle said they had other unfinished songs. He also joined Voodoo Bayou, which is a local band that plays at festivals and travels, and they still play around the area today.