People Magazine has called Lacy J. Dalton countrys Bonnie
Raitt. Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly said No secular artist
blends the spiritual and the physical as movingly or profoundly as Lacy J. Dalton.
Her latest CD The Last Wild Place, co produced by renowned Grammy- and
Academy Award-nominee Tom Bocci, recently hit No. 1 on the Country World Indie
Chart alongside such superstars as Vince Gill and the Oak Ridge Boys. Music
critic Robert K. Oermann said of the title track, One of the most gorgeous
pieces of acoustic music Ive ever heard.
With such critical acclaim and one of musics most beautiful and recognizable
voices, Dalton also knows she can and should speak for causes of deep importance.
To that end, she uses her words and music to advocate tirelessly for animal
welfare and to nurture human community, pure and simple.
When she and husband/manager Aaron Anderson (and their beloved animals, of
course) moved to Nevada several years ago, they left the harried world of Nashville
to find a calmer life in tune with their love of nature, the environment, and
their friends in the west.
Aaron grew up in the west, and Ive always felt I belonged here.
Wed met so many incredible people in Nevada when Ive toured and
played at John Ascuagas Nugget, Dalton said. And hearing a
wild horse trot down a street in Virginia City one evening 10 years ago led
me to write Theres a Horse Comin, my first song about
Nevada. We figured a town where wild horses roamed was the place for us.
The couples beautiful, rustic retreat sits on acreage in the Virginia
Range southeast of Reno, in a pinion and juniper forest with sweeping views
of the mountains and foothills. Their energy-efficient house was built by contractor
Gene Edwards to take advantage of the views and to reflect the true-to-the-west
setting. Exposed post-and-beam construction
The main north-facing living spaces are lit with wide expanses of insulated
windows offering beautiful distant vistas. Lots of glass in the south-facing,
open-plan entryway, dining room and den brings in passive solar heat from the
low winter sun; overhangs shade the windows in summer. Walls are super-insulated
and even the foundation and crawlspace are insulated and completely finished
to hold in the heat in winter and help the house stay cool on hot days.
The couples homey mountain-top sanctuary also serves as command central
for many projects and pursuits. The cozy kitchen is the houses heart where
Lacy loves to cook for her husband and friends, and the dining room has hosted
many a family gathering, business summit, and board meeting.
Aaron runs a software company, Flight Sim Central, in offices above
the garage and weve built a recording studio in our home Medicine
Dog Studios, a Native American name for horse so its pretty busy
here all the time, Dalton said.
Pretension is not high on Daltons list of personal attributes. With
so many projects and participants in and out of the house, the idea of formal
decorating has been rather alien to the couple. What they did want theyve
achieved most successfully, however, simply by living their active lives a cozy,
eclectic, comfortable retreat full of meaningful memories, personal collections,
and treasures that reflect their love of friends and nature.
Soon after settling into their country house, the couple also discovered they
shared their piece of paradise with the local wild horses who also call it home.
The horses would wander through our property, and they stole our hearts,
It didnt take long for Dalton to find even more words to express her
wonder at these historic bands of Comstock heritage horses. She began researching,
writing, and singing about them, and soon gathered support to advocate seriously
for their preservation, safety, and survival in the face of encroaching traffic,
diminishing habitat, and controversial threats of slaughter.
In partnership with friends and fellow activists and in the midst of
touring, recording, running a business, and nurturing a household of pets, strays,
and wanderers-through of all types and sizes the couple founded the Let
em Run Foundation, a nonprofit organization to develop a wild horse sanctuary
Because Dalton regularly performs for community causes, she has drawn respect
and renown from a range of groups and admirers, many of whom have given her
personal gifts of thanks over the years. One in particular holds an honored
place in the couples home and carries a deep sense of responsibility for
Dalton toward its giver.
A wonderful Indian man in Paso Robles gave me a saddle blanket made
by his grandmother a 100 years ago. Its a prayer rug, which he says I
should use when I need the strength and support to carry on the work we do,
she said. I feel so honored he gave it, and so responsible about continuing
on for the horses. There are so many things in this world we need to respect
and preserve for posterity for all our children and our childrens
To learn more about the wild horse sanctuary and Let em Run Foundation,
including its Comstock Wild Horse and Mining Museum in Virginia City, visit
letemrun.com. For more about
Lacy J. Daltons latest CD, The Last Wild Place, a project that
has helped raise awareness for the work on behalf of wild horses throughout
North America, visit lacyjdalton.com.
Hear two songs from her new album at RenoMagazine.com.
A.C. Turman, writer and a former Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association
board member, has been inspired by the soulful music and selfless work of Lacy
Dalton and Aaron Anderson for many years on the Comstock.