Some stats on Ronnie Earl: The Broadcasters have been playing in one form or another for 25 years. Ronnie Earl has been playing guitar for over 35 years. He is a two time BMA winner for Guitarist Of The Year. A recovering alcoholic and addict, he continues to fight health issues including manic depression and diabetes. He is a national treasure, and a living, breathing, encyclopedia of blues guitar. Earl paints sonic blues portraits the way Van Gogh painted his portraits; they are unique, expressive, and full of love.
As Earl doesn’t travel much outside the confines of New England anymore, this album is especially relished. Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters Just For Today (Stony Plain Records) is culled from live performances at three different venues in Massachusetts. Personnel are Lorne Entress on drums, Dave Limina on piano and Hammond B3, Jim Mouradian on bass, and Earl on guitar. Singer Diane Blue appears as vocalist on the only non instrumental track, “I’d Rather Go Blind.”
This is the best work Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters have put on disc in years. Good sound quality, and a great mix make this album really easy on the ears too. “Rush Hour,” a tribute to Otis Rush, is a slow delight, filled with deep Hammond B3 lines from Limina, and nice picking from Earl. “Vernice’s Boogie” features outstanding piano from Limina, and tone-filled lines from Earl. “Blues For Hubert Sumlin” is a great Chicago style blues that will have you playing air guitar along with it. “Robert Nighthawk Stomp” is just plain delightful! “Jukein'” is a great piece that really showcases the entire band. First recorded by Etta James, “I’d Rather Go Blind” is a perennial favorite, and Diane Blue does a good job with the vocal here. The album closes with “Pastorale,” which is magnificent.
Pick this up, put it on, sit back, and lose yourself in it.