Real music is a spiritual medium…
- Lacy J. Dalton
In the silence of the early morn, she awakes. It is 5:00 A.M. and she really doesn’t have to be up until seven. Nonetheless, she rises to face the dawn of the new day. It is only at this time, of the day, that she can find some of the peace that her soul longs for.
The sleep still resides within her eyes as she walks outside with her cup of steaming hot coffee. The crickets, frogs and other creatures of the night still play their songs, creating a symphony called Mother Nature. It is this song, that soothes her soul.
The lawn looks like a field of diamonds as the sun reflects off the morning dew that covers the blades of green grass. The symphony slowly gives way to the sounds of mankind waking to start their day. If only...if only she could silence the noise made by humans, perhaps it would offer her aching soul the much-needed relief it seeks.
Another morning gone and her soul suffers with hunger. She is hungry to return to a place she once knew. A place where her soul longs to belong.
A cleansing walk through the wood at the local state park helps lessen this burden that she bares, but only for a short time. A couple of days on the north shore will ease the weight that she carries, but for a limited time.
The place she longs for has no time. It is free for Mother Nature to take over as humankind has yet to dig its devastating claws into it. The land is natural, honest and pure as it brings peace to those who visit it. Pain does not exist, here at this location. Only calm and serenity is found here. The love and light that her soul so desperately seeks resides upon this place. If only she could remember where it is… This, the last wild place.
In 2006, Country Music Legend Lacy J. Dalton recorded her latest album The Last Wild Place Anthology. The album features a beautiful, artistically defined collection of seventeen songs that speak from the core of Lacy’s heart and soul.
“I am so happy that it is finally getting noticed!” tells Lacy J. Dalton. “We didn’t have the means to distribute it properly and advertise it properly. We didn’t know how and we didn’t have the right people to do it. At my shows it just keeps selling, and selling, and selling and it stands up!”
Known for her gritty powerful vocals, this project includes five of the songs that made Lacy a household name back in the 1980’s. Among these songs, you will find her ever-popular 1989 hit song “Black Coffee.” She has also included her 1982 hit “16th Avenue,” as well as her 1981 hit songs “Everybody Makes Mistakes” and “Takin’ It Easy.” The album also consists of her first single from 1979 with “Crazy Blue Eyes.”
Nonetheless, the remaining twelve new songs are quite intriguing with their soul searching and healing resonance.
“Almost every song was chosen to, to give people hope.” humbly shares Ms. Dalton. “I know that this earth is not an easy school. It’s tough, a beautiful and a terrible place. Sometimes we just need somebody to say ‘hey, been there, done that and I’m surviving and you can too.’ That’s been the theme through my music ever since the beginning. It’s really why I do music.”
The album opens with “Listen To The Wind.” Performed in a gentle melody, in this song Lacy shares the story of her musical career while she tells us to trust our intuitions when it comes to our own lives.
The album continues with “Heart of Hearts (Stay Open).” So many times in our lives, we close our hearts, due to the pain we have endured. Nonetheless, we must shed the barriers that we place upon our hearts and open them to all possibilities. When our hearts stay open, it is then that we can truly reach our highest potential.
This brings us to the first of many songs from this incredible album that we pulled to hit our list of Top Songs of 2018, while earning a nomination for the Spirit Award’s Song of The Year Award. “The Wanderers” is an awaking song, as many will resonate with its message. The message is one of remembering that we are beings from the stars and we shall return to the stars someday.
“It’s hard to say. It’s hard to say. I like them for different reasons. I think I like ‘The Wanderers,’ because I never heard anything remotely like it. I think its something that is really intriguing and I think that some people will resonate with it and other people will not understand it at all. But, I think at the very least it turned out to be a very beautiful poem and the meaning behind it is very deep. The people out there who are wanderers will resonate with it! They’ll know who they are!”
Lacy is quite down to earth and very spiritual in many ways. Although, she loves to joke around, every now and then.
“No, I was not. Well at least not that I remember!” heartily laughs Lacy when asked if she was abducted by aliens. “I remember no anal probes!”
Her passion lies within sharing life’s lessons within her music. Her second, but equal passion lies within her love for animals. She is an advocate for wild horses as she helps raise funds for the “Let ’Em Run” foundation. Its mission is to “Preserving, Recovering, and Providing Sanctuary and homes for America's Wild Horses and Burros.”
Ms. Dalton includes several songs about animals within this project. The first song we come upon is “Old Dog Blue.” Performed in a traditional Bluegrass style mixed with Lacy’s unique Americana mentality, this song tells a heartwarming story about a dog named Blue.
Another song regarding animals is “Sanctuary.” Taken straight from the heart of the Let ‘Em Run Foundation, this song contains a passionate story found in the lyrics while it rides a breathtaking melody. This is another that will hit our list of Top Songs of 2018.
“Oh, I really love the song. It was written for me by Tom Bocci and Larry Bastian, who wrote a lot of Garth Brooks hits.” shares Lacy. “They wrote it for me, but actually pitched it to Garth Brooks. But he didn’t, of course, record it; it’s not his type of thing. I’m involved with the wild horse rescue and we raise a lot of money for small, mom-n-pop outfits that don’t have a lot of funding.”
For more information on Let ‘Em Run Foundation, please visit letemrun.org.
The final song about animals from this project is “She Could Run.” Performed as part of a narration, this song shares the story of the spirit and testament of racehorses.
When I get to the core of the album, I have found many spiritual songs that relay healing messages. The one that stands out among the rest is “Standin’ Knee Deep.”
“The song took me thirty years to write! I started it thirty years ago! And only finished it and edited it…it was actually much longer and I didn’t know which arms of the ‘baby’ [song] to cut off.” shares Ms. Dalton. “When you have this song that there’s a lot of meat in it and a lot of things you want to say, but you’ve got to pare it down so that it’s a manageable piece of music. At least that was my training from Nashville, to try and keep things at least under five minutes if not three minutes is the ideal. I had a producer I worked with for The Last Wild Place and his name is Tom Bocci. He and I, together, we decided which arms to cut off the ‘baby’ and we got that thing down to a manageable size.”
Performed in a waltz melody, this heartfelt ballad speaks about going through life’s challenges and losing sight of the blessings of living. The song also reminds us to take time to stop, pause and enter into our own sacred space to reflect on what truly matters in our lives. This is another song that will hit our list of Top Songs of 2018 and earn a nomination for the Spirit Awards Song of The Year award.
“The point of the song is, that there is a very deep well inside all of us and when we hurt badly enough you’ll find that place.” explains Dalton. “We’ll find that place or we’ll parish. That is what that song is about. That there is a deep well inside of us because spirit is in all of us. Spirit is not just out everywhere in the world, it is also all that is, including all we are. It is closer to us than breathing and nearer to us than hands and feet. It’s there. It’s not outside of us. It’s inside of us and outside of us.”
Another great song of healing is found in “Boundless Skies.” This song was originally written for DreamWorks’ animated film Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron, however, through a course of changes in the filming stages the song never made to the big screen. Nonetheless, it will hit our list of Top Songs with it’s artistically, deftly written lyrics and production. My heart and spirit soar while listening to this beautiful and elegant song.
“When I was writing it, what I was writing was, that there was a spirit of freedom that this horse had that we all should have.” tells Lacy. “It’s sort of the same theme as ‘Standin’ Knee Deep’… ‘deep in my heart there’s a place I can go, Where I’m one with the wind, blowin’ down off the snow. Far beyond thought, down where the mighty rivers flow.’ It’s a place of renewal. The last wild place that exists in all of us, that is our core and what animates us.”
This brings us to another healing song with the title track. Performed in a fun and traditional country beat, this song captures the core of what all of us are about. This too will hit our list of Top Songs of 2018 and earn a nomination for the Spirit Awards.
The final song to hit our list of Top Songs and earn a nomination is “Little Boy Blue.” Lacy wrote this song to honor her son, Adam. Performed in a gentle and slight lullaby melody; one can hear the affection and passion of a mother’s love through Lacy’s performance.
Although most of the songs on this album are sacred, Lacy does include a fun song with “The Alaska Song (Under The Midnight Sun).” Performed in a Johnny Cash-esque drumbeat, this song honors the beautiful land that we call Alaska. The great state of Alaska should adopt this song as their official anthem!
Keeping to the true style that we have come to know as Lacy J. Dalton, she includes “Slip Away.” Performed in the 1980’s style country, this song speaks about finding true love.
Most of the songs on this album were written by Lacy J. Dalton, which proves what an accomplished entertainer she has become. This album is so artistically defined and restorative project that it we had to pull the entire album and nominate it for the Spirit Award’s Album of The Year Award.
“Jeepers!” exclaims Lacy. “I am honored and really appreciate it, because I know you have really listened. I am so honored that you have, with so much music that you have to listen too, I am very grateful.”
Last year, Lacy released her single “Carl The Christmas Dog.” You can read all about it on our website as well.
Ms. Dalton continues to help raise funds for the Let ‘Em Run Foundation. She also is a songwriting teacher at a level 4 prison in California. She continues to tour and will close out 2018 with a mini Christmas tour. As I write this, she is working on a new EP called Scarecrow. A release date has not been announced.
“Hope...support...love...connection...joy…” shares Lacy about what she wants the listeners to get from this album. “I’m just being quiet and letting it come. I’m just being quiet and those are the words that came…and I think whatever they need from it.”
In the silence of the night, when the human world finally falls asleep, it is then that she can hear the symphony outside her window once again. Restless from slumber, she rises and heads back outside.
The moon is full as she sits upon the ground. The dew is starting to gather upon the blades of grass. She feels it, as it starts to seep through her clothes. She gazes upon the bright light of the full moon and feels the illuminating energy. The light sends an energy that only she knows, through the core of her body.
Her body bathes in the silence of humankind as well as the healing energy of the moon. Nonetheless, in this peace she still feels the hunger and ache that her soul longs for.
She closes her eyes and allows Mother Earth to hold her in the palm of her hands. She lets go of the day’s events and energies, as they seep from her body into Mother Earth.
She is tired. Tired of carrying the weight of her soul’s yearning. If only she could only find that place… the last wild place.
‘n ya say you’re feeling burned out,
you could use a little space
Welcome home you restless heart,
To the last wild place
Ya’ feel that wind that’s softly blowing?
The sun that’s smiling’ on yer’ face?
That honey wine, it’s always flowin’
Here in the last wild place
In the stillness of the moon lit night, she awakes from her meditation. She is renewed, for she has finally found the place she was always looked for. In her contemplation, she has journeyed to that last wild place… That last wild place is not found on any map, it does not have a zip code and you cannot get there from here…
For she found the Last Wild Place…
deep in her soul…
Don’t look back it don’t mean nothing’,
Here in the last wild place.
(© Strictly Country Magazine - September / October 2018.)
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