Blues Singer ‘Lady A’ Shouts Out Margo Price, Chris Stapleton, Bettye LaVette in ‘My Name Is All I Got’
Seattle vocalist Anita White has been in a legal battle with the country trio Lady A over her name
Anita White, the Seattle blues singer who performs under the name Lady A, has released a new song about her legal battle with a Nashville country-music trio over use of the name. “My Name Is All I Got” is a rhythmic, stomp-and-clap blues song that finds White detailing the hardships she’s faced in 2020.
“Yes, they tried to take my name/but my name is all I got,” she sings in a defiant call-and-response chorus, before growling about how “they keep trying to make me insane.” It’s an emotional performance, as if the weight White has shouldered for the past few months is inspiring, not hindering, her. “I’ve come too far to turn around,” she promises.
Near the end of the song, White offers a few ad-libbed words of appreciation. She thanks Margo Price for publicly stating back in July, while onstage at the Grand Ole Opry, that “the real Lady A” should be invited play the Opry — “That’s what true allyship looks like,” White says. She also shouts out Chris Stapleton for saying that black lives matter during a CBS interview and evokes the words of Bettye Lavette: “She said, you take our culture, our music, our artistry…leave us our name.”
In September, the solo artist White filed a countersuit against Grammy-winning trio Lady A, who changed their name from Lady Antebellum in the summer and subsequently sued White over the rights to the name. White is asking for unspecified compensatory damages, a royalty fee for music sales and performances under the Lady A mark and payment for infringing the Lady A name.
Artistic Director Waterfront Blues Festival
“On her latest CD, My Name Is All I Got, Seattle blues singer Anita White—AKA “The Real Lady A”—draws on her Louisiana roots, finding strength and resolve even from some dark corners of the pre-Civil War South. The title cut’s spare backing, of hand clapping and call-and-response chorus, powerfully evokes the unshakeable groove of field hollers, and lament of chain gangs. But the refrain is a defiant, current-day shout-out to a Country star’s recent legal effort to appropriate “Lady A,” the name White has performed, toured, and recorded under throughout the Northwest, South and Europe, for more than three decades.
It’s a reminder, especially to any who’d still romanticize the lush plantations and genteel charade of the Antebellum South, that we have not come far enough from the dark history that made that world possible. My Name Is All I Got is the powerful affirmation of a survivor, a fighter, a warrior for these times.”
American Blues Scene
J.D Nash, Editor
“Standing on the shoulders of giants, Lady A delivers a thunderously powerful new single. Part field holler, part church revival, and all her own, she reminds America that not everything can be taken. Say it again for the people in the back: "My Name Is All I Got!"