A Star on The Rise
By Robby Eichman
A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail from my editor telling me to check out a young singer songwriter named MaryJustice Lucas. MaryJustice, being only 17, is out of my normal bar scene element so I had never had the pleasure of meeting her. I learned that she got her start, and continues to play, at the Coffee Tree on Bailey Cove. I am familiar with the Coffee Tree as it was my first place to play in Huntsville as well, aside from my high school and my front lawn. So I asked if she would be willing to meet and tell me a little about herself.
We met at the Coffee Tree on a Monday afternoon shortly before close and she sat across from me with her sprite and brownie. She told me she had been playing guitar for about two years now. “I was little and I would sing and stuff, but I always thought I would be a dancer… but, I got a knee injury and couldn’t dance anymore. So we came to the Coffee Shop on a Wednesday night and it just so happened to be songwriters’ night, and that’s how it all began… When I wasn’t able to dance anymore, God opened another door and that was definitely music.” Lucas said. “For a while there I was singing only a cappella and we finally got some tracks done and I would sing along with them… someone eventually told me if you learn that guitar you’ll have an instrument to carry around.”
MaryJustice recently got back from receiving fourth place for her CD on the national level at the North America Country Music Associations, Int’l (NACMAI) as well as first place 2012 Songwriter of the Year and first place 2012 Entertainer of the Year. “It was a surprise to me because that CD was just recordings from my living room and we just threw it in there to see what happens.” Lucas said. “The state competition, Tennessee Country & Gospel Music Association (TCGMA), I got 2011 Video of the Year, 2011 CD of Year, 2011 Songwriter of the Year and second place, 2011 Most Promising Entertainer of the Year, and that was exciting!” Most of the other contestants performed with tracks, but MaryJustice competed playing her guitar making her win all the more exciting. The highest honor, 2012 Female Entertainer of the Year in her division was won with her new country rendition of Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” and one of her newest original songs, “So Much More.” I asked if there was video of this performance and she said she is working on getting one up. I hadn’t had a chance to listen to any of her music, and since I usually write about artists on the stage, I asked her to come down to (Shameless plug alert!) my show at Bandito South that I play every Monday night. She and her grandmother said that they would try to stop by.
Well, they showed up and it was a good thing. I played my first set and asked if MaryJustice would like to play a few. She seemed almost timid when she first stepped on the stage, but it took only one ring of her guitar to snap her into game time mode. She began to play and the crowd immediately took to her. It wasn’t until she started to sing that the magic really began. Out of this tiny 17 year old girl, came the voice of a veteran stage performer. A very deliberate and confident tone soared through the PA. I counted at least 3 jaws hanging open. My first thought was “I have to follow this…” She played a few songs including her rendition of the Dylan tune she played at TCGMA. When she got off the stage the people quickly started asking where she would be playing again soon. She has some scattered shows over the next few months. You can head to Coffee Tree on a Saturday night and if she’s not in Nashville shooting her next video, or at the prom, and the stars are shining down on you, maybe she will pop in. And I can only hope that she will come back to Bandito when I’m playing, because she WILL end up on that stage again if she does. You can check out some of her music on her ReverbNation page listed below, and I highly recommend it. Be on the lookout for MaryJustice Lucas, because I assure you, this will not be the last time you read her name in the press. http://www.Reverbnation.com/MaryJusticeMusic
Article posted on this blog by permission of Valley Planet