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Ronnie Earl And The Broadcasters - Spread The Love

Stony Plain


After wading through countless cd's of well intentioned "blues musicians", it's sure a welcome relief to get back to a practitioner of the real thing. Ronnie Earl and his cohorts couldn't make a bum recording if they tried. His name on anything is an endorsement of a quality and heartfelt endeavor. Here he sticks to strictly instrumentals with the only outside help being a few substitute bass players on a handful of tracks. Past efforts have included guest vocalists and instrumentalists, as well as a gospel vocal group offering occasionally. Blues and forays into jazz and ethereal spiritual instrumental excursions owing to Roy Buchanan, and to a lesser extent Carlos Santana, are the fare here. Earl regularly leaves space for Dave Limina to exhibit his considerable skills B-3 organ and/or piano skills, all the while ably anchored by Jim Mouradian and Lorne Entress on bass and drums respectively. Ronnie is one of the select few guitarists working today who has an encyclopedic vocabulary of blues styles at his disposal. His spirituality transmits from his brain to his fingers to the strings to the listeners ears down to their soul. The only thing keeping him from a larger audience is his more recent reluctance to perform too far from his New England home. the faithful who seek out his recorded output are well rewarded time after time.

After a driving version of Albert Collins' "Backstroke", the second tune "Blues For Dr. Donna" is a guitar-bass stroll thru the Delta, often conquering up Lighting Hopkins, offered as a tribute to his wife. Kenny Burrell's "Chitlins Con Carne" is given a pretty straight reading, giving equal time to Limina's organ. The specter of Roy Buchanan is invoked on the soaring Buchanan-style blues of "Miracle" bending and squeezing notes leading into scattered-note-flurries reaching for the heavens. Duke Pearson's "Cristo Redentor"(usually associated with Charlie Musselwhite's harp version) and the Duane Allman tribute "Skyman" again find Earl exploring Roy's more spiritual side ala Buchanan's "The Messiah Will Come Again". "Skyman' is an exercise in moody string-bending that doesn't attempt to replicate Duane's style. Drummer Lorne Entress' "Patience" is a tranquil gospel-inspired tune. About three-fourth's of the material here finds Ronnie in various blues styles. "Blues For Slim" is a slow but tough Chicago blues workout, while "Tommy's Midnight Blues" builds from a short Otis Rush intro-into a brief quiet Buddy Guy-string-squeezing segment into a hard-charging Chicago blues attack. T-Bone Walker is the inspiration for the jazzy-blues featured in "Ethan's Song". "Spann's Groove" is a boogie-woogie piano workout for Dave Limina. The musical journey is closed out with an acoustic finger-picked front porch blues via "Blues For Bill".

As Ronnie Earl continues to build on his guitar canon we get to reap his spiritual sincerity. Often while listening, especially to his more spiritual toned songs, you get that feeling of unfulfilled-musical-searching that Miles Davis had in his music. Ronnie may never find that perfect note, but listening to him try will be something to bring enjoyment and fulfillment to anyone who opens their heart to it..

Reviewer Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse at

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