Music Muse

Old Towne Talent
As the Music Muse, Crystal Husband, here with singer-songwriter Emad “Emo” Alaeddin, lines up a variety of mostly local acts to perform at The District Lounge. “It’s given me an opportunity to help a lot of people art-wise and music-wise,” she says.

Hair stylist, singer, music promoter—for Crystal Husband, the roles have long been intertwined.

When she was a little girl, she did hair and makeup on Barbie dolls and also sang in church. Today, she’s the owner of Crystal’s Hair Studio in Old Towne and organizer of acoustic music concerts at The District Lounge.

“Hair has been the income, but music has always been what I love,” she says, quickly adding that she gets “pure joy” from both.

Cutting, coloring and styling hair have earned Husband a lot of notice since 1990 when she started in the salon that she bought about seven years later and still works at today.

That was true when it was spotted on the big screen in the 1996 Tom Hanks film “That Thing You Do!” about a one-hit wonder band. Ditto when Billy Bob Thornton stopped in while filming part of “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” a 2001 Cohen brothers 1940s crime drama. The scenes done in Orange took place in the winter with snow on the ground, but actually were shot during a much warmer time of the year.

“All of the extras were bundled in coats, and it was 95 degrees outside,” Husband recalls. “I cranked up the air conditioning and in between takes 40 extras would come in to cool down.”

Husband enjoyed meeting Christina Applegate and Jennifer Love Hewitt when they were around filming projects. Ben Affleck, not so much.

While the A-list stars in the various productions brought in their own hair and makeup specialists, Husband did groom some of the extras, security guards and others.

Another longer lasting gig was perming Bill Medley’s hair during the 1980s when the singer/ songwriter for The Righteous Brothers lived in Villa Park.

Husband also combined her passions during her late teens when she made regular trips to Los Angeles to do hair and makeup and also found work as a backing vocalist.

“Believe it or not, I’m shy,” Husband says. “I love wailing my voice in the background or in a choir, but I don’t necessarily like being a front person. It’s ironic, because now I host music events and I’m totally in the front and spotlighted.”

That would be the Music Muse acoustic sessions, which feature under-recognized talent at The District Lounge. A recent Sunday afternoon featured performances by Joseph Puccio, Frank Cope and Stevie Talks, all from Orange County, and each doing about a 45-minute set.

“Sometimes only five people are in the audience, while other times 25 or more show up. It depends on the artist,” says Husband, who broadcasts the sessions on Facebook Live, expanding their reach. “I tell each one of them that this is their platform—bring five friends and let them tip you five bucks each. The goal is to make this into a paying gig. The District Lounge has great food and drinks, so this is the perfect spot to make it happen.”

Singer-songwriter Warren Sellers, author of The Journey of a Song: 60’s and 70’s, has known Husband for about five years and says that the Music Muse presentations are important for musicians trying to get noticed.

“She does a lot to set the atmosphere, letting everyone know ahead of time what it’s all about,” he says. “These people come to hear the music. They don’t come to hang out, and music just happens to be there. That’s a huge difference.”

Husband spends several hours each day researching the acts to invite and publicizing the sessions by creating and distributing fliers and also getting the word out via social media.

“It’s one of my pastimes,” she says. “I either do hair or Music Muse—the two things in life I do the most besides binge on Netflix and Amazon.

“For me, it’s about connecting people to music they’ve never heard or music they love and can’t find,” she adds. “And for these artists, who aren’t getting noticed or recognized, it’s a way they can get more fans, friends and followers.”

Crystal’s Hair Studio, 59 Plaza Square, 714-803-7050

The District Lounge, 223 West Chapman Ave., 714-639-7777;

Published in the Nov/Dec 2017 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Photograph by Jon Haverstick

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