GenresBlues, Jazz, Jump Blues, Adult contemporary Rockabilly, Salsa, Soul, Boogie Woogie, Bossa Nova, Swing, Folk rock, Lounge More...
LocationAsheville NC United States
Sounds LikeSusan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt
Digital Locationwww.reverbnation.com/peggyratusz musicpage.com/peggyratusz
HistoryMember since: 10/06/2014 Year Founded: 1975
- Original material: 04 hrs : 00 min
- Cover material: 10 hrs : 00 min
- CDs released: 2
- CDs sold: 650
- Licensed songs: 20
- Original Songs: 20
- Average Draw: 100
- Largest crowd: 6,000
- Have sound: Full PA
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. She performed at popular clubs in Austin such as The Steam Boat, The Black Cat Lounge, 311 Club, Babe’s and Maggie Mae’s. Throughout the 1990’s she was also a featured entertainer in show bands such as Hot Wax, Apollo Soul and The Copy Cats, covering Motown and Soul music from the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s.
In November of 2001, she moved to Western North Carolina and now makes her home in Fletcher. Listening is the most important aspect about creating music people need to hear. It enables us to lift each other up as musicians on stage together, which in turn gives us opportunity to fearlessly stretch ourselves beyond what we thought we were capable of doing. The talented musicians, who share the stage with her, obviously agree.
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.
In early 2010, Peggy officially released her sophomore album, Infused with the Blues which features 23 of Asheville’s best instrumentalists and vocalists. Kellin Watson, Ron Clearfield, Mike Barnes, River Guerguerian, Jonathan Scales, Duane Simpson, Joey K Rob Geisler are a few of those on it; gifted musicians she calls friends. In 2011 she opened for the Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.
Ratusz has also shared the stage with or opened for Taj Mahal, Bernard Allison, Denise LaSalle, Candye Kane, Bob Margolin, Geff Achison, Kellin Watson and Shannon Whitworth.
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.
An advocate for other area musicians, she’s been booking, hosting and running sound for the incredibly popular twice monthly Singer Songwriter in the Round series at both Jack of the Wood and Jack of Hearts giving area and touring songwriters a place to play and get paid. For two years, she hosted a bi-monthly Female Artist Spotlight Night at Tressa’s Jazz & Blues which were paid showcases for women artists of all genres from novice to professional. She is also a teen band music mentor for several area youth bands who perform Soul, Rock, Jazz and Blues and is a vocal coach to young and not-so-young area singers. You can read a monthly feature she writes in WNC Woman magazine called Women Making Music.
Playin’ it forward is the philosophy by which she lives. To be lucky enough to make a living doing what she loves the most and does the best is not something this ruby throated Blues Mama ever takes for granted.
Reviews and Accolades:
…always something new to hear on her style-rich debut album. The musical accompaniment is exceptionally well-suited to her. In short, her beautiful voice captures you (by the throat) while her way of singing is truly remarkable. She draws phrases together, changing the melody with her voice and can at once express temptation, desire, sadness and anger. Well, true sadness, but we certainly don’t experience that as this is a dream-debut album.
La Hora Del Blues
-I don’t know where this woman came from, but Asheville’s Peggy Ratusz can flat out sing some blues, jazz and rock. Equally comfortable kicking funky rock jams and sultry, jazz-tinged ballads, Ratusz and her band Daddy Longlegs are the latest and greatest thing to come out the magical musical wonderland that is our more musically-rich neighbor to the south. – David Brewer, High Country Press
PEGGY RATUSZ musically and vocally paints a very soothing, passionate and sensual picture as she sings about being on a "SEXUAL HIGH". Trust me on this one, this sultry mood setting music is not intended to be listened to while typing a review. - BY PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO,
On her latest album ‘infused with the blues ‘Peggy Ratusz and her Band takes us for a slinky stroll down into the land of top shelf smoky bar blue. Ratusz has a “Been there, done that and I’m gonna tell ya about it” slant to her stories of heartache, revenge, loneliness, and strength Her smooth dusty voice is completely believable, and she wields it with power and just enough vulnerability – Amelia White