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The Tullahoma News-- Allye Ratledge is a on a Musical Journey

A love of music has led Tullahoma native Allye Ratledge many places, playing with different musicians and enjoying numerous experiences.

Her musical journey began as a teen playing piano with the Tullahoma High School AristoCats. Ratledge said she was one of the last pianists to perform with the group.


 Tullahoma native Allye Ratledge has enjoyed a musical career that has spanned 20 years. Now a mother of two, she is embarking on a new journey that includes balancing the roles of mom, wife and musician.  -Photo Provided

Tullahoma native Allye Ratledge has enjoyed a musical career that has spanned 20 years. Now a mother of two, she is embarking on a new journey that includes balancing the roles of mom, wife and musician.
-Photo Provided


While with the group, Ratledge mainly played the piano and didn’t really explore the talents of her voice until she graduated and moved to college.

“I knew that I could sing and I liked my voice, but I just never really got the chance to sing. But I knew I wanted to pursue singing,” she said.

After graduating in 1997 from Tullahoma High School, her musical journey continued at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. While attending school in Cookeville, she studied classical piano and voice, performing in operas and musicals from various periods and styles.


The musical journey begins

After graduating with a degree in vocal education from TTU, Ratledge headed west to Montana to teach music.

While she said she enjoyed “inspiring a new generation of musical hopefuls how to sing, march, play music,” she continued to follow the dream of performing and pursuing her own musical career.

Her musical journey would then lead her to Austin, Texas, where for the next several years she would hone her musical talents.

These talents would grow while singing lead vocals for “The Pacers,” one of Austin’s favorite party bands —specializing in rock and Motown covers.

Ratledge said that over the next few years her time with “The Pacers” would allow her to grow more experimental, performing as the lead vocalist in a blues/jazz trio at smaller venues all around the city, developing what she said was “her own improvisational style and creative sound.”

After saying farewell to Austin in 2010, Ratledge’s next big move would land her in the Pacific Northwest—where she was soon performing all over the region, from Portland and Seattle to Walla Walla and Coeur d’Alene.

While performing locally, she would get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform with musical great John Farey and his band, Bluestone.

Farey is known for performing with musical greats such as Sly and the Family Stone and Van Morrison.

“Playing with John allowed for one of the biggest changes in my musical career,” she added.

These changes would include touring with a well-known group performing at over 100 live shows and festivals in one year.

While performing with the group, Ratledge would record her first album. She would also find out she was pregnant with her first child.

“I found out I was pregnant in January 2011 and we finished the album by the sixth month of my pregnancy. It was a very interesting time and one of the biggest experiences of my life,” she said.


A change of music

One month after the birth of her first child Maddy, Ratledge and her family would again make another move, this time to Marietta, Ohio.

Settling into the role of mother, Ratledge would now have to figure out how to balance the roles of mom, wife, and musician.

Although she didn’t know anyone in Ohio, she didn’t let that stop her and took the advice of her musical mentor, Farey, and decided to let her role of mother play a part in her musical inspiration.

She would receive even more inspiration when her second child, Maggie, was born.

Inspired by her two daughters, she kept the music going and is in the process of putting together her own album of lullabies for them and for the world.

“It is a very non-traditional approach to lullabies,” said Ratledge.

She is also working on other projects that include raising money for Tullahoma native Andrew Booker.

Booker is need of a special service dog that will be able to warn Booker of oncoming seizures and to also protect his head. The service dog will also be able to sense his blood sugar before it gets too high or low.

Booker is battling epilepsy, Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes, and autonomic autoimmune ganglionopathy or AAG. He also suffers from three additional autoimmune disorders.

The service dog will help in assisting Booker in his day-to-day activities and be a full-time companion.

Ratledge is lending her voice and musical talent to help Booker raise money to acquire the dog.

“I have recorded two songs, ‘Love is an Army’ and ‘Angel.’ Both are on iTunes. All of the proceeds from each download will go directly to the cause,” she said.

For more information on how to donate, visit online at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/partner-for-life-getting-andrew-a-service-dog or click the “Partner for Life” link on Ratledge’s webpage.

Ratledge said she plans to continue her musical journey while enjoying being a mother to her two girls.

“It’s all about what you make out of life and I plan to keep on playing,” she added.

Check out Ratledge and her music at www.allyeratledge.com.

 


Click here for the original link to The Tullahoma News article.

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