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Blues

Ronnie Earl, The Luckiest Man

by November 27, 2017
Ronnie Earl named The Broadcasters after one of the first Fender guitars, distributed in 1950, which originally had been labeled The Broadcaster. The first group of Broadcasters included Darrell Nulisch (vocalist), Jerry Portnoy (harmonica), Steve Gomes (bass), and Per Hanson (drums). In 1988 they released their first album, Soul Searchin, followed by Peace of Mind in 1990. Their album Language of the Soul was released in 1994. The lineup for the Broadcasters album was Bruce Katz (keyboards), Per Hanson (drums) and “Rocket” Rod Carey (bass). The next album The Colour of Love, featured Marc Quinones (percussion) and Gregg Allman (keyboards). The latter association led to Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters’ opening for the Allman Brothers Band at Great Woods, and to Warren Haynes (guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band) sitting in with Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters at Johnnie D’s in Somerville.
Earl considers blues guitarist and vocalist Otis Rush as having the greatest musical influence on his life, as well as Magic Sam, Guitar Slim, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith, Grant Green, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Wes Montgomery, all of whom have deeply and profoundly shaped and inspired his playing. Ronnie is a now a three-time (1997,1999, 2014)  W.C. Handy Blues Award winner, renamed the Blues Music Awards, as Guitar Player of the Year.  He has served as an Associate Professor of Guitar, at Berklee College of Music, taught for five years at the National Guitar summer workshop in Connecticut, and has given private lessons. In 1995, Ronnie released Ronnie Earl: Blues Guitar with Soul, an instructional VHS tape that was then re-released in DVD format in 2005.

About the Album

Earl offers both traditional blues covers and originals on the twelve track album, The Luckiest Man. He also augments his lineup to include: Nicholas Tabarias and Peter Ward on guitar, and Peter’s brother, “Mudcat” Ward on double bass and fender bass. Additionally, he adds Mark Earley on baritone saxophone and Mario Perrett on tenor saxophone. Vocalist Diane Blue returns, but there are also some instrumentals tracks. The album is dedicated to the Broadcasters’ late bass player, Jim Mouradian, who passed suddenly in early 2017. The three-time Blues Music Award winner for Guitarist of the Year keeps things about tone, spiritual intensity and emotions. Earl brings us a traditional blues album of remembrance, love, and unwavering resolve to live with faith and gratitude.

Our Favorite Track

Our favorite track is “Ain’t That Loving You.” Blue’s vocals are strong and full of soul and Earl’s guitar playing over the shuffle blues form is amazing. The horn background lines add to the track. The band hits are also a nice touch. Earl’s strat is still the perfect timbre to convey blues guitar, a Fender Strat with a cable connected to slightly over driven Fender Amp with a touch reverb, everything else is Earl’s magic touch. Earl always delivers great original blues tunes, but respects the idiom, not trying to make it “modern.” Earl and the band just kill on shuffles.

In Conclusion

Earl continues to be one of the most touching blues guitarists today and The Luckiest Man confirms Earl’s status as one of the most soulful blues/soul/jazz guitarists working today, for sure! This album is the real deal and Earl speaks to loss and healing, gratitude and love, compassion and passion.

Overview
Features

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters
Ronnie Earl – Guitar
Dave Limina – Piano and Hammond B3
Diane Blue – Vocals
Forrest Padgett – Drums
Paul Kochanski – Bass

Guest Musicians
Nicholas Tabarias – Guitar
Mark Earley – Baritone Sax
Mario Perrett – Tenor Sax
Peter Ward – Guitar
Michael “Mudcat” Ward – Double Bass & Fender Bass

On the song Long Lost Conversation:
Sugar Ray Norcia – Vocals, Harp
Anthony Geraci – Piano*
Mike Welch – Guitar*
Neil Gouvin – Drums
Michael "Mudcat" Ward – Double Bass & Fender Bass
*Anthony Geraci and Mike Welch appear courtesy of Delta Groove Music.

Cover art of Ronnie Earl, titled Transcendence, created by Tom Noll,
Creative Bone Artworks® Inc. & Art that Rocks®

Label

Stony Plain Records

Artist

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

Album

The Luckiest Man

Release Date

November 17, 2017

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