By Leslie Radford: CNJ Staff writer
Lance Dial’s music career began at age 14 when he picked up a fiddle. Twenty-four years later he still saws on the fiddle and has even written a few songs along the way.
Dial returns to the area Wednesday to play at Kelley’s Bar and Grill after spending the past few years pursuing a music career in the Dallas area.
The self-taught musician said he looks forward to spending time with his mother, Carolyn Kitchens, on the family ranch in Taiban, and promoting his second and most recent CD, “Point of No Return.”
His first single release, “Another Time, Another Place” holds the No. 2 slot on the Independent Country Music charts, moving up from No. 4 last week. The chart was established in 1981 in Tennessee to recognize independent country artists.
“There’s just something about completing a song that makes you feel proud and want to share it with everyone,” said Dial, who at age 15 was labeled a “fiddling genius” by local media.
“I don’t know about that,” he said. “It’s just this passion that I have (to play fiddle). There’s just a part of you that has to be expressed.”
When he was in junior high, he told his mother how he would sneak into his school’s music room “just to hold the fiddle.”
“It was just an instrument that intrigued me,” said Dial, whose songs reflect everyday life. “I’m inspired by life; by reality. I try to write about things people can relate to. The best songs tell a story.”
He said he will play several songs from his latest CD during Wednesday’s performance. Joining him are Chris and Myron Cox, who played with Dial in the Cox Brothers band in the 1980s.
Chris Cox said the last time he played with Dial was for a spur-of-the-moment charity event at a Clovis bar. That was more than a year ago.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to practice,” Dial said. “Myron will be flying in from Singapore (where his wife is stationed with the U.S. Air Force) and Chris is there in Clovis. With me in Texas, it’s kind of hard to get with the guys.”
Dial said he does hope to get in some practice time before the show.
Myron Cox was unavailable to talk about the group’s homecoming, but his brother Chris expects nothing but high energy from the upcoming performance.
“Lance has always been full of energy — a real mover and shaker,” said Chris Cox, who plays guitar and sings.
The group will also cover tunes from artists such as Eric Clapton, Merle Haggard and play some traditional blues, according to Chris Cox.
Dial said he has recently played fiddle for a heavy metal band, and in the past has opened for stars such as Mark Chesnut and Lori Morgan.