Austin, Texas transplant, Peggy Ratusz has been pulling from the cream of the Asheville music crop since moving here in 2002. This “ruby throated” chanteuse has been a finalist in the International Blues Challenge in 2008, 2010 and 2016. A winner or runner up in the Mountain Xpress’s ‘Best of’ Poll for 9 years in the Blues category, (3 years straight 2016, 2017 & 2018), she won in three categories in the 2016. (Best Vocalist, Best in Blues and Artist Who Gives Back). She’s opened for Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Geoff Atchison, the Beach Boys, Karen Lovely and the Danielle Nicole band.
Guitarist virtuoso and singer, Jonathan Pearlman’s (aka, JP) influences are far-reaching, absorbing Lennon/McCartney, Hendrix, Clapton, and Motown. Jazz-fusion bands of the early
70’s were also influential, like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Frank Zappa. “Alien Music Club” is a music production and creative organization he developed more than 10 years ago. He also hosts the weekly Alien Music Club Jazz Jam at Barley’s Taproom in Asheville every Thursday night. “It’s a great opportunity to meet and share musical ideas with some of the best players while at the same time
mentoring young musicians!” Kelly Jones, a fast rising guitar god and accomplished singer in WNC, has been performing and recording for over forty years. An expert rhythm, lead acoustic and electric and slide guitarist, his Berklee training lands him on the go-to list of several area bands including and most notably, Jesse Barry and the Jam. While his influences range from Hendrix to Joe Pass and Scott Henderson, his signature style is inviting, persuasive and is his very own.
A resident of Flat Rock, NC Grant Cuthbertson, has been in integral part of the music scene in Asheville for over 30 years. He is one of the main reasons why it thrives as it does. He wears many hats and provides the area’s most notable venues with quality sound equipment. An accomplished bassist both electric and upright, Grant’s love of all things Latin and Jazz as well as Blues, Swing & Gypsy Jazz, has made him one of the MOST sought after players in WNC.
Ben Bjorlie, a native North Carolinian has been playing drums and bass since age 13. Bjorlie holds an undergraduate music degree in percussion from Appalachian State University, and has been a freelance musician, performing with a plethora of musical configurations ranging from Zydeco, Salsa, Blues, R&B, Funk and Hip Hop. Asheville Music School swooped him up and for the past several years he’s been teaching drums, bass and performance preparation to area youth.