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Tribute to ETTA JAMES featuring PAULA HANKE and PEGGY RATUSZ on Fri Nov 18th 2016 at 8pm


Muse of the Blues

Local favorites
 Peggy Ratusz 
Paula Hanke 

pair-up to perform the best of the blues and soul hits of the great Etta James. 

Known for their soul-stirring powerhouse vocals Paula and Peggy will solo and share the stage as friends and admirers of the Legendary Rock and Roll and Blues Hall of Famer.

With iconic selections such as 'I Just Wanna Make Love to You', 'At Last', 'Tell Mama' and 'Sunday Kind of Love', they’ll be accompanied by an all-star band:
Jim Arrendell- drums/vocals,
Jonathan Perlman- guitar/vocals, 
Alex Taub- keys and 
Grant Cutherbertson-upright and electric bass

Etta James excelled in many genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama", "Something's Got a Hold on Me", and "I'd Rather Go Blind".  

James is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. She won six Grammy Awards and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked James number 22 on its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists.

“My mother always told me, even if a song has been done a thousand times, you can still bring something of your own to it. I'd like to think I did that.”
—Etta James

".......among the most critically acclaimed and influential female singers of the past 50 years, ........James sang with unmatched emotional hunger and a pain that can chill the listener. The ferocity of her voice documents a neglected child, a woman constantly entering into bad relationships and an artist raging against an industry and a society that had routinely discriminated against her......

 ......  From her first R&B hit, in 1955, the risqué Roll With Me Henry – cut when she was only 15 – through a series of classic 1960s soul sides (the lush ballad At Last, the raucous house rocker Tell Mama and the emotional agony of I'd Rather Go Blind), then a series of critically acclaimed 1970s and 1980s albums that won her a broad rock audience, to more recent albums of jazz vocals, James proved capable of developing and changing as an artist"-------The Guardian

A Wisconsin native, Paula Hanke began performing professionally right out of high school, and her years of worldwide touring with show bands are evident in her ability to tackle just about any repertoire and make it her own. She has the rare ability to make each listener feel that they’re being sung to individually as she negotiates material from quietly intimate to roof-raising. Her debut album “The Only Voice” displays her expressive vocals with assistance from many of Asheville’s finest musicians.

Paula toured the U.S. for 7 years with a showband (Coast to Coast) and after an appearance on Star Search '88, made NYC her home for 15 years where she gigged locally from the Plaza Hotel to the Bitter End.

She has toured extensively playing in clubs and showrooms in Tokyo, Bermuda, Munich, Saudi Arabia, the Virgin Islands, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City sharing the stage with Willie Nelson, James Taylor and the Beach Boys along the way and performing for Joan Rivers, Al Hirt, Jamie Farr & Charlie Callas to name a few.

A well established presence in the Asheville music scene since 2002, Jazz and Blues Chanteuse Peggy Ratusz performs an infectious, sultry, multi-layered brand of original, traditional and modern Blues, Soul and Jazz. While influences such as Ray Charles, Connie Evingson, Anita O’Day and Bonnie Raitt are evident, it can’t be denied that her unique style and voice are one of a kind. She and her backing bands are particularly impressive during live performances where audiences witness her very core as it shines and is inspired by the rhythm, the melodies and content of the stories she tells. Every drop of emotion is authentic and shows all who are present, that she’s a willing servant to Jazz, Blues and Old School Soul.

For nearly thirty-seven years, opportunities have come her way which have landed her on television shows, radio, festival line ups, theaters, bars, restaurants, benefits, private events and showcases. She spent seven years based in Tucson, Arizona where she toured the West in a folk rock trio from 1979 to 1985. Audiences began to experience the richness, power and emotion of her voice evoking positive reviews and acclaim. In 1985 she moved to “the live music capital of the world” a.k.a. Austin, Texas and stepped into the Blues pool fronting a 4-pc Chicago Blues style band called The Bootleggers.

The 2000’s have been banner years for this still very young feeling 56 year old musician. An original track from her freshman CD, Sexual High was picked by Jomar Records and is featured on the compilation CD, National Women in Blues. Her live version of Memphis Slim’s I’m Lost Without You featuring Duane Simpson on acoustic guitar is on the 12th Volume of WNCW’s Crowd Around CD. She and her bands have been voted Best in Blues or R&B for five straight years and in both 2008 and 2010, Peggy and the Daddy LongLegs were semi-finalists in the most prestigious Blues competition in the world, The International Blues Challenge held for 29 years running in Memphis, TN.

She’s performed at The Bull Durham Blues Festival, Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival, Carolina Blues Festival, Women In Blues Festival, End of Summer Blues Festival, The Green Swan Festival, Bele Chere and area venues such as The Orange Peel, The Altamont Theater, Isis Restaurant & Music Hall, The Grey Eagle Music Hall, Jack of the Wood, 5 Walnut and Tressa’s Jazz & Blues.