Stacee Lawson
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Stacee Lawson


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"Hot New Female Vocalist"

Stacee Lawson is one of the hottest new female voices to come out of Huntington, WV. Her remake of “What I Am” has an amazing guitar riff that when paired with her strong vocals, puts a fresh new spin on a classic favorite. With a unique style that’s a fusion of rock and folk, she mixes it up with just the right blend of slow and fast tracks to bring you her debut album, “Deranged”. Sit back and enjoy!

- BCD Music Group

"Lawson Excited about Debut Release"

Lawson excited about the release of her debut album
Courtesy of Stacee Lawson

Stacee Lawson, a Chapmanville, W.Va., native and Marshall student, has just completed her debut CD "Deranged." She'll have a release party at 10 p.m. Oct. 4, at the V Club in Huntington.

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October 01, 2008 @ 10:05 PM


The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON -- When Chapmanville, W.Va., native Stacee Lawson first came to Marshall, she learned two important things.

One was she really didn't want to be a teacher. The second was a few guitar chords from fellow Chapmanville native Jeff Ellis.

Lawson, who's been banging away, folk-rocking acoustically in Huntington clubs for the past four years or so, kicks the music up a notch starting now.

Her debut CD, "Deranged," featuring members of the locally based and internationally traveling melodic metal act Hydrogyn, hit record stores nationwide on Tuesday, on DA (Destroy All) Records and is being distributed by BCD Music Group.

And the album's first blistering single, "Walk Away," is being played on college radio stations around the country.

Lawson and the boisterous band celebrate the CD release in style at 10 p.m. Saturday at The V Club.

Ellis, a long-time friend who's a finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong contest finals next week, opens the show.

A sophomore at Marshall University studying Criminal Justice, Lawson said that when she inherited some money after her grandfather passed away, she wanted to pay for school and then make a CD she could sell locally.

"It was now or never, and it was well worth it," Lawson said.

Julie and Jeff Westlake, long-time friends who have known Lawson since she moved to Huntington, saw more than an open trunk of CD sales for Lawson, whose voice is getting compared to everyone from Avril Lavigne to Jewel and Edie Brickell.

Jeff Westlake, guitarist and band-leader for Hydrogyn, said when the band got back from a European tour and found out on MySpace that Lawson wanted to make a CD, they wanted to help and got together with Lawson at their home studio to see if they would want to collaborate on the project.

"I just had to get her calmed down, but I could tell from the very beginning that she was serious and that she could do it," Westlake said with a laugh. "It's not that people don't want to do it, but there has to be that something in you that allows you to do music on a certain level."

From those songwriting sessions, Lawson, who writes all the lyrics, was able to create the bones of the CD's eight original songs. Westlake, who played guitars and bass on the CD, was then back creating at Smash Hits Studio in Lavalette, with co-producer Steve Riley, who also contributed keyboards, loops and some backing vocals.

Gathered at Smash Hits a week ago to talk about the couple of months they were holed up in studio, Westlake, who produced Hydrogyn's last CD (also recorded at Smash Hits), said it was a lot of full immersion into the music with brief timeouts for grabbing those $5 Subway foot-long subs.

Westlake said that Riley, who played a little piano and cello on the Hydrogyn CD, really opened up on Lawson's CD, adding just the right touch to songs such as "Walk Away" and "Only Dreaming."

"He's a great keyboardist and he's able to hear what I hear," Westlake said. "I would say we want something like this, and I would leave and come back and would be like 'Oh, yeah, this is exactly what we talked about'."

Lawson, who had never recorded, said at first it was intimidating.

"It's like going to the doctor's office up in here," Lawson said laughing. "I was so nervous."

Thanks to some coaching by Julie Westlake, Lawson came roaring out of her shell. Lawson said Julie helped her strengthen her voice, which she described as straight out of L.A. -- Logan area -- and stretch her range.

"There are no words for how great Julie has been," Lawson said. "She brought my voice out to a place I don't think it has ever been. I've been in the music room practicing, and I'm belting now. I can hit the notes."

When putting together a CD release party, Lawson said it had to be at The V Club, where she would often play early happy hour shifts from 6 to 9 p.m. with only "me and my little guitar."

"If it couldn't have been at the V Club, it wouldn't have been anywhere else," Lawson said. "When you go in there, it's a good vibe, a good sound system, the owners are good people, and there's no drama. Some nights, hardly no one would be there to hear me, but Pat (Guthrie) would always pay me."

Saturday, there will be a video shoot for Lawson and the band, and Westlake is in the process of shopping the CD to Europe for distribution, looking to see what will happen next with the CD.

"I'm pretty sure now there's going to be another album," Westlake said. "We kind of set a high bar for her, and we expect the next album to be that much better."

- Dace Lavender, Herald Dispatch


Deranged Album Released September 30th, 2008 on DA Records and BCD Music Group. You can go to and request airplay song Break or Bend. Being played on Major College Radio and have topped the charts at #1 after 3 weeks.



The musical arrangements on the Album Deranged is pure modern rock with the occasional nod to a 1970's hard rock sound. Run picks up on this retro sound as an envelope for Lawson's urgent vocals. This album is highly commercial and should do well as a rock single. Mr. Love has a bluesy feel to it and discusses longing from a distance.

Lawson also delivers a delicious cover of Edie Brickell's What I Am. It's a straightforward interpretation that's faithful to the original but very well done. Other highlights include Come Back Down and Hangin' On.

Stacee Lawson is a pop vixen with a rough edge. Deranged is a worthy debut album that establishes Lawson as a burgeoning artist with room to grow. Deranged is very much worth a listen or two, particularly if you like the mix of edgy and sweet in rock music. I suspect Lawson has a bright future in music, and Deranged is the first step.

What sets Stacee Lawson apart from the rest of the bands is her live performances, and her energy. She also has her own unique sound for sure. Influences, include Pearl Jam, Counting Crows,Fleetwood Mac,Audioslave,REM, Live, Led Zeplin.Pumkins, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, The Police just to name a few.