Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

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Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

Postby blueswriter » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:32 am

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters
Living In The Light
Stony Plain (2009) SPCD 1340


12 tracks, 75 minutes. Highly recommended. What’s left that hasn’t previously been said about Ronnie Earl and his abilities as a blues guitarist? His playing could easily reduce a completely sane man to incoherent mumbling within a few short bursts of six-string pyrotechnics, and probably make a certified lunatic sound as lucid as Maya Angelou in the same time span. His vocabulary with a guitar in his hands knows no boundaries, nor does it seem to display any limitations. He possesses the kinetic energy of a raging hurricane one moment, and just as quickly he can wash away every dark cloud so that nothing but sunshine and blue skies appear before you. Yes, he is that powerful and his playing is an absolute wonder to behold. The irrefutable evidence of all this is audible in just about every recording Mr. Earl has delivered from his early sojourns with Roomful Of Blues up to the present, and Living In The Light is really no different. Whether he’s spitting out rapid-fire clusters of blistering guitar brutality, S.O.S. for instance, or shuffling through River Charles Blues with the cool swagger of a cocky gunfighter, Earl comes with the goods to make anyone sit up and take notice. Blues For The South Side is a razor-toting ode to Chicago consisting of three-and-a-half minutes of pure Stratocaster slashing, but witness Pastorale for a polar opposite. Kim Wilson guests (on harp and vocals) for a small handful of tracks and exhibits particular brilliance throughout a relaxed seven-and-a-half minute rendition of Take A Little Walk With Me. His singing here has a wonderful sense of phrasing heard nowhere else in his expansive catalog of recordings. Dave Keller adds his powerful voice to a pair; Love Love Love and What Can I Do For You, while Dave Maxwell’s piano spices two tracks. The Broadcasters; Dave Limina (keyboards), Jim Mouradian (bass) and Lorne Entress (drums), put everything in place and are spot-on with Ronnie’s entire dynamic range, from faint guitar whispers to searing passages that scream with beauty. Ronnie Earl is truly blessed with talent and we’re just as fortunate to have his artistry to listen to and enjoy. His playing breathes life, it speaks volumes, it moans and groans, but never in a negative sense. For those who still think blues is the music of downtrodden souls with no hope, Earl's work is as honest and as uplifting as a Southern Baptist sermon on a Sunday morning. Pure blues guitar mastery!

© 2010 by Craig Ruskey
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