Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters
Beyond The Blue Door
Stony Plain Records
Ronnie Earl is the most soulful blues/jazz guitarist working today. He is a four time Blues Music Award winner as Best Instrumentalist – Guitar. He also believes in the power of music to heal the mind and spirit. The Broadcasters include Earl; vocalist Diane Blue; Dave Limina, Hammond B-3 and piano; and the rhythm section of Paul Kochanski, bass; and Forrest Padgett, drums. They are joined by numerous guest artists as Ronnie states “this is a band album – a community of souls with some…new directions and some good old down home blues”. This recording is Earl’s twenty-sixth.
Blue became the first female member of The Broadcasters and is the featured vocalist on six tracks. She opens with “Brand New Me” written by Theresa Bell, Jerry Butler and Kenneth Gamble and first recorded by Dusty Springfield in 1969. Blue’s breezy vocal is accompanied by Earl’s guitar solo, with Limina on piano and Mario Perrett on tenor saxophone. Also from Gamble and Leon Huff is “Drowning In A Sea of Love” recorded by Joe Simon in 1971; Earl’s solo is emotive as tenor saxophonist Greg Piccolo joins saxophonists Perrett and Scott Shetler. Blue’s vocals are especially nice on “Peace of Mind” co-written by Earl and Steve Gomes; and on “Bringing Light (To A Dark Time)” co-written by Kochanski and Blue. Blue sings again on “Why Can’t We Live Together” from Timmy Thomas recorded in 1972; and on “The Sweetest Man” written by Earl, Blue and Limina with guitarist Peter Ward sitting in.
Harmonica master Kim Wilson, pianist Anthony Geraci and guitarist Ward join Earl and The Broadcasters on two fabulous tracks. Wilson is the featured vocalist on both Howlin’ Wolf’s “Baby How Long” and Little Walter’s “Blues With A Feeling” with Scott MacDougal replacing Ward. Earl’s instrumental tribute “Wolf Song” also features Wilson, Geraci and Ward.
David Bromberg plays acoustic guitar and takes the vocal as he joins Earl on a spectacular version of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”.
The remaining tracks are instrumental showcases featuring guitarist Earl. Included are his original compositions “A Soul That’s Been Abused”; and “T-Bone Stomp” with the addition of guitarist Larry Luisgnan and bassist Michael Rush. Piccolo re-joins Earl on Henry Glover’s classic “Drown in My Own Tears” and on their co-written “Alexis’ Song”. Earl closes with the instrumental “Blues For Charlottesville” written with Broadcasters Padgett, Limina and Kochanski.
Earl remains on top of his game as both guitarist and bandleader on this fabulous new recording.