The country music star talks with us about her life and career — and her love of horses.
When we last checked in with country music star Lacy J. Dalton three years ago, she had just released her four-song EP Scarecrow — and, as always, she rebelled any attempt to label her as a singer or a songwriter.
“If you label me anything,” she said, “you’d probably label me an outlaw if you knew me very well. That’s really how I feel. I feel like it’s mostly marketing people who put fences up around music.
“But I learned my lesson early on. After I got my first record deal, when I first began performing in casinos in Reno and other places, I started out in a part of Harrah’s that wasn’t really the main showroom. And I had to learn to play to a lot of people who’d never heard of me, didn’t know who I was, didn’t know what kind of music I did, and didn’t care. So I was able to do all kinds of music. And I was able to find a way to appeal to broad audiences. Which I think has really allowed me to work as long as I have at what I love to do. I’m like Willie Nelson — I don’t ever want to retire.”
And speaking of Willie Nelson: Lacy recently received a very special laurel for a duet she recorded with Shotgun Willie back in 1985. Half Nelson, an album featuring Nelson’s duets with a host of notables, has racked up enough sales over the years to finally go Platinum — meaning that Lacy, the only female vocalist in the stellar lineup, got her own Platinum prize for singing the classic Texas outlaw ballad “Slow Movin’ Outlaw” with Nelson.
Lacy looks back on her contribution to Half Nelson with pride and gratitude: “To be the only woman in the company of such greats as Ray Charles, Carlos Santana, Neil Young, and Willie himself was a high point for me and an important milestone in my career — and, I believe, for women in country music in general.”
These are good times for Lacy J. Dalton. She continues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her fan-favorite song “Everybody Makes Mistake” (which she co-wrote with Billy Sherill) and performs that hit along with others — including “16th Avenue,” “Black Coffee” and “Takin’ It Easy” — during her extended tours. And when she’s not on the road or in the recording studio, Lacy devotes much of her time to the Let ’Em Run Foundation, an organization she co-founded in 1999 dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and providing sanctuary and homes for America’s wild horses and burros.
We were pleased as punch to talk about all of this and more with Lacy when she visited the C&I Studio this week.