Stay Tuned for More Greatness From East Texas’ Lacie Carpenter
In a fast-food, convenient-store world of artificial sweeteners, and lip syncing where genetically modified foods, and scantily clad pop stars gyrating in vulgar displays of gluteus exhibition have become the norm, a conversation with Lacie Carpenter provides an encouraging promise that the ill-fated, younger America is not completely doomed. Her personal sincerity, verifiable credentials, and authentic musical gift totally eclipse every preconceived expectation.
Only 26-years-old, Carpenter is already turning heads and creating considerable chatter among music fans, critics, local press, and music industry personnel. In 2012 she won both Fiddler of the Year, and Bluegrass Act of the Year at the East Texas Music Awards. This year she acquired a three-piece band to back her. After only 10 months together they performed at the same award ceremony and celebrated a clean sweep, winning four awards for: Fiddler of the Year (second consecutive year), Bluegrass Band of the Year, Americana Folk Act of the Year, and Vocal Group of the year.
Carpenter’s primary instrument is fiddle. She plays an electric five string violin “Viper” crafted in a flying-V shape resembling the Gibson Flying-V guitar made famous by Jimi Hendrix. She started on piano at age three, gave her first musical performance at age four, and began classical violin lessons at age 10. After years of private instruction from Dr. Jane Saber and Dr. Isidor Saslaz, her mom suggested a fiddle class.
“I thought fiddle was a sin…in orchestras you have to sit still,” admitted Carpenter.
After the first day of fiddle, her path was forever changed.
“In there, (fiddle class) I could tap my feet, move around and interact with how I felt the music. I got to play double stops and there was no chair,” she said gratefully.
Moving around is exactly what happens at her concerts. Expect the musical chops of a classically trained virtuoso with fiddle licks that would make Charlie Daniels do a double take, flying at your ears as your brain can’t explain how she wrestled out such emotion filled phrases in the middle of a five-foot high vertical jump, that evolved into a knee slide across the stage that would’ve made even Chuck Berry’s jaw drop.
“I like to do solo performance for nursing homes, churches, schools, small groups — its more personal,” Carpenter said. “With a bigger audience, a full band really helps the energy though. Chemistry is most important in a band, and the audience has to interact, or its not going to happen. Of course taking Americana, folk, and bluegrass to Madison Square Garden, selling out, and staying on tour would be amazing. But the goal is to heal people through music, to make them feel something.”
Her musical endeavor is also a career goal and life ambition. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches in 2009 and is now working on her masters degree to become a music therapist.
Born in Dallas and raised in Tyler, Carpenter has performed in dozens of different states across the U.S., been commissioned by the Prime Minister of Austria to be part of Mozart Fest, played Germany, England, and delivered Handel’s Messiah to Dublin Ireland with Project String Power in 2012. She has a nine-song album (eight original compositions) set to finish in February 2014 and shows no signs of slowing. She’s an East Texas treasure to definitely keep an eye on.