There are lots of reasons to go to the Blues Foundation’s events in Memphis.
One of the best is – You never know who you are going to meet!
For me, this year was a great opportunity, after 2 years hiatus due to the global coronavirus pandemic, to reconnect with old friends, to pay tribute to past and present inductees into The Blues Hall of Fame, to hear the great talent at the Blues Music Awards, and to again be a volunteer judge at the International Blues Challenge, listening to hard-working musicians from blues societies all over the world. This year the IBCs were combined in the same week with the other events. And, lo and behold, to meet the most recent musician to join the Earwig Music family of artists.
I met St. Louis Blues diva, trumpeter and bandleader Lady J Huston May 4, 2022 at the Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which kicked off this year’s Memphis Blues week. After the ceremony, Lady J and her Executive Producer Cyrus J Wingate stuck around to schmooze, make industry connections and to promote Lady J’s latest endeavors. She was handing out her cd single “Corona You Make Me Sick!”. The artwork was eye-catching, as was Lady J, with her energy, enthusiasm, directness and glamorous style. She also caught my attention with her history three decades earlier of being a trumpet player and music director for Albert King.
As I introduced myself, she handed me her single and said she was looking for help getting her music released and her career boosted. I told her that I own Earwig Music Company and also do music business consulting, affiliated with AirPlay Direct, a global music distribution company for airplay. I said I would listen to her track that night and I offered her a free consultation about her music and career.
I listened to Lady J’s song “Corona You Make Me Sick” that night and the next morning. I enjoyed the groove, the catchy lyrics, the musicianship and the production. When I saw her later in the week, I told her so. When I got back home two weeks later, from two Folk Alliance conferences after my blues week in Memphis, Lady J Huston took me up on my consultation offer. At that time I began thinking about the possibility of distributing her new recordings.
When I told her the Chicago Blues Festival was coming up June 9-12, she asserted herself into my schedule by driving over from St. Louis to meet with me in my office. Because of her initiative, determination and vision, I made the time to meet with her, even though I wanted to be down at the festival earlier in the day. At the end of that meeting, she had a distribution offer from me, which we finalized a week later.
Since she already had a cd single release date scheduled for July 22, we both had to get seriously busy. We decided to make her first cd single “Groove Me Baby”, a track she also had finished, and to make her second single “Corona You Make Me Sick!” in October. We also agreed that she would have an album done for February 2023, made of already recorded material that needed to be mixed and mastered.
The saga of Lady J Huston and Earwig Music is just beginning. She had a full house at her cd single release party at the well-known club BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups on the date she had pre-dtermined even before I met her. Her first single “Groove Me Baby” has been burning up the AirPlay Direct global download blues charts, and we are on track for her next single in October and her album, also titled Groove Me Baby to be released in February 2023.
So the next time you are considering going to a music event or conference, as a musician, industry person or fan, such as the International Blues Challenge or the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, or the International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City, take heed of my tip, be hip, take a trip, because
Opportunities show up when you do!
As Earwig artist Aron Burton loved to say, Good Blues to you.
Earwig Music Company CEO
PS I look forward to meeting you on the blues highway!
PPS For a deeper dive into the story of Lady J Huston, visit her here www.ladyjhuston.com or on social media @ladyjhuston
PPPS Tell her I put a bug in your ear! When the blues bug bytes, ‘wig out!