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James was a regal, elegant and soulful presence

The late Etta James, shown here performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in 2004, played a memorable show at The Egg in the early 1980s. (AP)
The late Etta James, shown here performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in 2004, played a memorable show at The Egg in the early 1980s. (AP)
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Etta James scared James Brown into playing the best show (of many!) I ever saw him do. Everything seemed wrong, too. The show in the early 1980s was in Albany’s Empire State Plaza Convention Center with its strange geometry, low ceilings, muddled sound and odd sightlines. And both Brown and James were in career lows. But when I heard that guitarist Leo Nocentelli of the Meters — New Orleans’ best band between Little Richard’s Upsetters ...

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