Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Articles Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. They needed a venue where she felt comfortable, and one where the audience response would match the passion of her music.
She chose Nashville and the New Era Club. Etta James Rocks the House was released in Initially, it barely scraped the Billboard album chart, making it to just No.
But behind the triumphs of James' music was a darker side. On the cover of the album a bandage is plainly visible on her wrist. It masked the physical marks of a heroin addiction that soon brought devastation to her life and career. In , the hits slowed, and James stopped recording as her personal life became a swirl of chaos and addictions. After almost two years away from the music business, she pulled herself together to return to recording and began racking up a run of hit soul singles that continued into the early s.
Over the years, she continued to struggle with her demons, disappearing from the music scene repeatedly, only to come roaring back time and again. Despite health problems in her later years, she continued to perform. In January , she was diagnosed with leukemia, and she died on Jan. Fifty years after that night of blistering blues and rock at the New Era Club, the site is an empty lot.
But the music is still with us, locked forever in the grooves of her recordings. It serves as a sonic time machine, transporting the listener back through five decades to a warm autumn evening, and a sweltering nightclub where Miss Etta James gave her all. Randy Fox. Oct 10, 4 AM. Email Music nashvillescene. Nashville Cream.