May 09--HIGH POINT -- Just two years out of college, Lacy Green already has achieved two milestones in her career as a singer, songwriter and guitarist.
Her 2011 song "For the Summertime" hit the Top 100 of country radio singles.
And now, at 23, she has won praise for songs that she composed and performed for the locally made feature film "Susie's Hope," about an abused puppy and the woman who adopted her.
"My main goal is to try to write something that connects with people," Green said on an April visit home to High Point from Nashville, Tenn., where she moved a year ago to pursue her career.
"We are all dealing with a lot of the same basic things day in and day out -- patience and hope and sadness and loss and great joy and excitement," she said. "The beautiful thing about music is trying to figure out how to put some little piece of that in what you create."
Green has been creating music since her childhood in Pilot Mountain.
Music permeated the home she shared with parents Johnny and Paige and younger sister Dallas. Johnny Green, a High Point native, played in a band. Lacy Green performed at schools and in festivals during high school.
The family returned to High Point after Green graduated. She went to UNC-Chapel Hill, starting in journalism, then majoring in religious studies and minoring in music, "to make sure I was fully unemployable," she said, joking.
"I found everything I wanted to do was in the creative profession, and music won out over all the rest," she said.
During college breaks, she traveled to Nashville to meet music industry professionals and write with other songwriters.
Ronnie Bowman, who has written hits for Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney, produced her seven-track CD that included "For the Summertime," which hit the Top 100 chart.
"When you say 'Top 100,' some people think that sounds cool, and some people think 100 isn't that high," Green said. "But when you see what other artists are close by you, that's exciting and cool."
During her April visit home, Green spent time with family, worked at the High Point Market and performed at the premiere of "Susie's Hope" at the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem. Producers are working to arrange more screenings in Greensboro and elsewhere.
The film tells the story of Susie, the burned and beaten mixed-breed pit bull puppy found in a Greensboro park in 2009, and Donna Lawrence, the woman who adopted her.
In 2008, Lawrence survived a vicious pit bull attack near her High Point home. Together, she and Susie learned to heal and forgive. Their story spurred efforts to increase the state's criminal penalties for animal abuse.
When Winston-Salem film producers began efforts to turn the story into a movie, executive producer Eve Roser suggested Green write original music.
Green read the script and met Lawrence.
"All that I wanted was to do justice to this amazing woman who has a really powerful story," Green said. "That was a bit intimidating for me as a writer because I didn't want to misrepresent it in any way."
She wrote "Scars Like Mine," with lyrics including:
"Always felt I was the only one
You gone down that same road I've been traveling on
So I send a prayer for you up through the stars on high
'Cause I can see that you've got scars like mine
Yeah, I can see that you've got scars like mine."
"Her song sets an authentic tone for the scene when Donna brings puppy Susie home, and now they have to begin the healing process together," said producer Laura Hart McKinny of Stone's Throw Films.
Lawrence said she loves Green's three songs for the film, particularly "Scars Like Mine." Green also wrote and performed "Who's Saving Who," inspired by the story's many heroes, which became background music in a bar scene. Her song "Here I Am" didn't make the film but was included in a limited-release CD for RiverRun.
"Every time I listen to them," Lawrence said, "they make me cry just thinking about what all Susie and I went through and how far we have come -- going from tragedy to triumph."
Green was thrilled to have her name listed with country music stars Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill and Rebecca Lynn Howard, who performed cover songs for the soundtrack. Gill sang "Wake Up, Little Susie," and Daniels sang "Susie Q."
"They bring a power and notoriety to the story that I can't bring," Green said.
For Green, these warm months bring a busy touring schedule.
On Friday, Green will perform at Southern Roots restaurant in Jamestown. She will return in June and July for performances in Jamestown, High Point and Thomasville.
Sometimes, she performs solo, other times with a trio or full band. Although country is her primary genre, she is known to incorporate elements of folk, soul Motown and rock.
Later this year, she plans to return to the recording studio to work on a full-length album that she hopes to release in 2014.
"Moving to Nashville has given me a new outlook on what I want to say and how I want to say it, musically," she said.
Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 373-5204, and follow @dawndkane on Twitter.
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