Check out the feature on Jim Pugh and the Little Village Foundation in SF GATE:

“Jim Pugh, the veteran keyboard player who toured the world with Etta James and Robert Cray and now roams the Central Valley and Bay Area byways looking for unknown musicians to savor and record, first heard the Filipino American singer Aireene Espiritu a few years ago at the Folk Alliance conclave in Oakland. She was strumming a ukulele and singing her own songs.

“I was blown away. I thought, ‘This sounds like Etta James,’” Pugh recalls. “She has that throaty, powerful quality. There’s a certain truth going on there. It’s more than just the voice.”