Singer/songwriter Lexy Pettis is a fairly new voice on the Santa Fe music scene, but residents of Albuquerque have been hearing her heartfelt tunes at venues throughout the city since last pring.
“In March, I opened for my brother’s band at Duel Brewing ABQ and did four songs,” explains Pettis, an Albuquerque guitarist and harmonica player who performs at Beer Creek Brewing Company on January 26.
“This is the right time for me to go out on my own and be a full-time musician. I want to be a one-woman band and the female Bob Dylan of my generation.”
Pettis grew up in the ranching community of Magdalena that’s 100 miles southwest of Albuquerque. Her father traveled around the state for business and occasionally took his daughter with him. Dad and daughter loved listening to all kinds of music together.
“Music has always been healing and very personal for me,” says Pettis. “Since I’ve been three years old, I’ve known I wanted to be an actress or a singer. I’m finally living my dream.”
For Pettis, making it this far has taken great effort and determination.
After graduating from high school, she entered an eight-year program in communications disorders at New Mexico State University. Two years later, she left the university with an associate’s degree in radiologic technology and began working in the office of a chiropractor.
When her then-fiancé decided to move to Florida in the late spring of 2017, she uprooted her life and went with him. The relationship fell apart four months later. With two suitcases and a guitar in her hand, she came back to New Mexico and settled in Albuquerque.
Musicians including the Marshall Tucker Band, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel and Mumford & Sons have inspired Pettis, who tries to write a new song every day. She has more than 100 original tunes in her catalog.
One way she’s motivated herself to write music is by starting “Thursday’s Thoughts for Tunes” on social media.
“I ask people to tell me what’s going on in their lives, pick one entry from submissions and write a new song about the topic of the chosen entry that I dedicate to that person,” she explains.
Pettis has also asked for song ideas on Facebook and Instagram, put the ideas in a hat for a live video drawing on a late Saturday afternoon and written a song about the winning idea within two hours of her Saturday evening gig. If the person whose idea was selected attends her gig, he/she wins a free T-shirt that says “may the music inspire you, find you and awaken you.”
“For once, I feel a purpose in my life,” she says. “I’m inspiring and healing people.”