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Ronnie Earl and

The Broadcasters

“…he is one of the most serious blues guitarists you can find today.  He makes me proud!”...B.B. King
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Ronnie Earl
Recordings between: 1990-99

Peace of Mind
 (1990) Black Top 

1.  I Want to Shout About It  (3:31)
2.  I Wish You Could See Me Now (3:34)
3.  Peace of Mind  (5:22)
4.  T-Bone Boogie (3:48)
5.  Wayne's Blues (5:31)
6.  Bonehead Too (3:13)
7.  More Than I Deserve (3:57)
8.  Can't Keep From Crying (3:40)
9.  I Cried My Eyes Out  (2:51)
10. No Use Crying (4:49)
11. Sickin' (3:40)
12. Wayward Angel (4:05) 

Over the past decade, Ronnie Earl has emerged as one of the preeminent blues guitarists in the world; he never overplays or grandstands, and each note delivers maximum emotional punch. This version of the Broadcasters includes vocalist Darrell Nulisch. "His fourth Black Top album as a leader has enough uptempo shuffles, boogies and barn-burners to satisfy fans of Earl's legendary intensity, but it is especially powerful on such slower tunes as the title track, where Earl slackens the pace and carefully squeezes out notes full of soul." --Derk Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian 

". . . this album flaunts Ronnie's intense attack and heartfelt expression in a set of mid-tempo shuffles, slow deep blues numbers and swinging uptempo vehicles." --Bill Milkowski, Guitar World
I Like It When It Rains 
Antone's Records
Texas Music Group
1.   Ridin' With Ronnie          (3:49)
2.   Linda                                 (4:54)
3.   Midnight Clothes             (4:11)
4.   Mutcika                              (4:32)
5.   I Like It When It Rains     (3:10)
6.   Hump                                 (2:47)
7.   Hangover                           (3:15)
8.   Just Pickin'                        (3:04)
9.   Walkin' and Cryin'             (2:43)
10. Down on Guadalupe       (2:15)
11. Anna Lee                            (6:49)
12. Sitting on Top of the World   (4:45)
13. Blues for Jimmie & Jesse      (2:45)

Surrounded by Love
Black Top  

  1. One of These Mornings (4:21)
  2. Akos (4:52)
  3. Mr. Downchild   (4:06)
  4. Off the Hook   (2:57)
  5. That's When My Soul Comes Down (7:57)
  6. Blind Love (4:41)
  7. Jelly Jelly  (6:26)
  8. Improvisation on Annie's Boogie (5:56)
  9. Kathy's Theme (3:41)
  10. Surrounded by Love (4:20)
  11. Georgia (4:41)
  12. Blues for Robert Jr.  (2:06) 
    Ronnie Earl's fifth Black Top album reunited him with the fantastic Sugar Ray Norcia on vocals and harmonica; bassist Michael "Mudcat" Ward, who returns to the fold after some years; drummer Per Hanson kicks things along righteously; and keyboard duties are shared by organist Tony Zamagni and pianist Dave Maxwell. The icing on the cake is the appearance on three tracks by blues legend Robert Jr. Lockwood, who plays guitar on "One of These Mornings" and sings and plays on "Mr. Downchild" and "Jelly Jelly." 

    "Earl has always been the real deal as far as blues guitarists go -- this album proves it." --Press Enterprise
Test of Time: A Retrospective
Black Top 

1.   Ronnie Johnnie (02:56) 
2.   I Smell Trouble (04:22) 
3.   Ridin' In The Moonlight (04:05) 
4    Baby Doll Blues (06:07) 
5.   You Give Me Nothing But The Blues (02:38) 
6.   Narcolepsy (03:53) 
7.   Waitin' For My Chance (02:42) 
8.   Soul Searchin' (02:45) 
9.   Backstroke (04:17) 
10. Ships Passing In The Night (04:52) 
11. I Want To Shout About It (03:32) 
12. I Wish You Could See Me Now (03:35) 
13. I Cried My Eyes Out (02:52) 
14. T-Bone Boogie (03:49) 
15. A Soul That's Been Abused (06:45) 
16. One Of These Mornings (04:21) 
17. Off The Hood (02:58) 
18. AKOS (04:51)

This album is a retrospective of the best of Ronnie Earl's several solo records on Black Top, with highlights that feature special guests like Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Sugar Ray Norcia (now lead singer of Roomful of Blues), Robert Jr. Lockwood and soul vocalist Mighty Sam McLain. Ronnie Earl has paid his dues and earned his reputation as a musician's musician. His guitar work is intense and passionate. Here Ronnie shines on the varieties of blues styles for which he is known, from uptempo shuffles to smoldering Chicago-style tunes.
B.B. King said of Ronnie, ". . . he is one of the most serious blues guitarists you can find today. He makes me proud." 

"Ronnie Earl has come of age as one of the most consistent and inventive young blues guitarists on the contemporary scene." --Bill Dahl, Living Blues 

"This superb release includes cameos by Robert Lockwood, Jr., Mighty Sam McLain, and the Fab T-birds' Kim Wilson. Get ready to shuffle 'till ya drop." --Guitar Player 
Still River

1.     Blues for the West Side
2.     Time to Remember 
3.     Kansas City Monarch
4.     Szeren 
5.     Soul  Serenade
6.     Equinox
7.     Chili Be Hugh
8.     Eyes that Smile
9.     Wednesday Night at the Bull
10.  Rego Park Blues 
11.  Derek’s Place
This particular version of the Broadcasters was unarguably magical, and this recording reveals why. Recorded four years after Earl dealt with his demons, it is the first of a string of all-instrumental albums by Earl, and it drips with class and soul. It's not just the exceptional skill of the players, however, that makes it so special; it was recorded on one of a handful of audiophile labels (AudioQuest), and therefore features state-of-the-art production.
From the ringing opening chords of Magic Sam's "Blues for the West Side" to the beautiful acoustic guitar/piano duet of "Derek's Peace," Still River is thoroughly enjoyable. "Kansas City Monarch" is slow and sweet, featuring Bruce Katz tearing up the low notes, a nice sax solo by Anders Gaardmand, and some great double-string work by Earl.  There is a moody version of John Coltrane's "Equinox" and a bog-dwelling rouser written by the entire band called "Chili Ba Hugh." You'll also like the greasy Hammond B3 organ on "Soul Serenade." 

A tempo change three minutes into the song suddenly finds the listener "getting religion" and tempted to yell "Amen!." Earl's own "Rego Park Blues" also showcases some nice B3 and finds Earl in the place where he shines the brightest, delicately coaxing a hushed solo from his Strat. Although not as jazzy as Earl's subsequent efforts, Still River sows the seeds that sprouted a few years later with Language of the Soul and with the albums that followed. ~ Ann Wickstrom, All Music Guide

Blues and Forgiveness
 Crosscut CCD 

See also Blues Guitar Virtuoso - Live In Europe below 
1.       San-Ho-Zay     (5:22) 
2.       Robert Nighthawk Stomp    (3:28) 
3.       Thank you Mr. T-Bone      (4:58) 
4.       Akos     (5:17) 
5.       Contrition   (6:21)  
6.       Moanin’     (4:16) 
7.       Blues for the West Side  (6:04) 
      The Stumble   (4:26) 
9.       Szeren    (4:40) 
10.     Blues for Henry   (7:38)
11.     Not Now Kovitch   (5:12) 
12.     Rego Park Blues     (15:27)
Language of the Soul
Bullseye Blues 

1.     Eddie’s Gospel Groove (5:09)
2.     Beautiful Child (8:27)
3.     Indigo Burrell (5:35) 
4.     Blues for Martin Luther King (6:14)
5.     Harvard Square Stomp  (3:40)
6.     Barcelona Morning (4:55)
7.     I Am With You (9:04)
8.     Green Light (3:57)
9.     Through Floods and Storms (4:43)
10.   Blues Guitar (5:03)
11.   Bill’s Blues (2:31)

Voted: "Best Blues Album 1995" by Boston Music Awards

On this all-instrumental album, one of the finest blues guitarists of his generation layers jazz on top of blues on top of something indefinable, -- something directly from the heart. From the cool drive of "Eddie's Gospel Groove" to the minor-key sweetness of "Beautiful Child," Earl speaks with his guitar -- eloquently and passionately. There are many players with great technique, some with great feel, but few with Ronnie Earl's ability to combine both in the service of the soul. Right now, though, no one's doin' it like Ronnie. Just amazing." --The Providence Phoenix  

 Language of the Soul is a wonderful change of pace for guitarist Ronnie Earl. The record is the first all-instrumental album Earl has recorded and, if anything, it's even more successful than his full-fledged, band-oriented records. Working without vocals has given him the freedom to try all sorts of new things, whether it's the jazzy interludes of "Indigo Burrell" or the gospel-flavored "I Am With You." Earl's compositions aren't memorable in and of themselves (he wrote all but two of the cuts), yet they give him the opportunity to play freely. He comes up with some truly remarkable solo passages, offering definitive proof that he's one of the best contemporary blues guitarists of the '90s. 

Blues Guitar Virtuoso – Live in Europe 
Bullseye Blues 
(U.S. release of Blues and Forgiveness, above)

1.       San-Ho-Zay     (5:22) 
2.       Robert Nighthawk Stomp    (3:28) 
3.       Thank you Mr. T-Bone      (4:58) 
4.       Akos     (5:17) 
5.       Contrition   (6:21) 
6.       Moanin’     (4:16) 
7.       Blues for the West Side  (6:04) 
8.       The Stumble   (4:26) 
9.       Szeren    (4:40) 
10.     Blues for Henry   (7:38) 
11.     Not Now Kovitch   (5:12) 
12.     Rego Park Blues     (15:27)

Voted: "Best Blues Album 1995" by Pulse Magazine
This is the Ronnie Earl record fans have been waiting for: blistering, raw, soulful, live" Recorded in Bremen, Germany in 1993, this is Ronnie's tribute to his major influences: Magic Sam, Freddie King, and T-Bone Walker. In addition to covering songs by these guitar players, the recording also features six Earl compositions, all played with the right-here/right-now intensity that is best captured in live performance.

"Captures a typical Earl club set -- sheer bliss." --Ted Drozdowski, Pulse Magazine
Grateful Heart: Blues & Ballads
Rounder/Bullseye Blues 9552

With special guest, David "Fathead" Newman 
on tenor saxophone 

Downbeat's Blues Album of the Year (1996)

1.     Alabama  (2:51)
2.     Ice Cream Man    (8:51)
3.     Drown in My Own Tears  (6:45)
4.     Still Soul Searching  (3:17)
5.     Skyman   (8:33)
6.     Welcome Home (Dedicated to All the Vietnam Veterans)  (6:47)
7.     For Abby (7:14)
8.     Isabella (9:00)
9.     Little Flower   (7:11)
10.  Soundcheck  (3:47)
11.  Mr. B. K.   (5:26)
12.  Song for a Sun (Dedicated to Carlos Santana)  (6:36) 

"Not many guitarists can walk the fine line between jazz and blues, and of them, few do it as well as Ronnie Earl does ....." Paul Kennedy, The Hard Report

"Ronnie Earl's got it in spades, and he deals his hand so beautifully and plainly on his new Grateful Heart : Blues & Ballads .... He's probably the finest living blues guitarist on the planet"Boston Phoenix 

With his last two Bullseye Blues recordings (Blues Guitar Virtuoso Live in Europe and Language of the Soul) Ronnie made evident a passion for melding blues and jazz stylings. The culmination of that passion is Grateful Heart: Blues & Ballads. Longtime band mates Per Hanson on drums, Rod Carey on bass and the incomparable Bruce Katz on piano and B3 organ, are joined by legendary tenor saxman David "Fathead" Newman. From the album's opener (a version of John Coltrane's "Alabama") to its final track (Ronnie's tribute to Carlos Santana, "Song for a Sun") Grateful Heart reveals Mr. Earl as a player of great depth and sensitivity. This exploration of the heart and soul of music is a voyage not to be missed. 

Eye to Eye 
Ronnie Earl with Pinetop Perkins, pianist; Calvin Jones, bass; Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, drums from The Legendary Blues Band.  
1.      How Long – Earl, Memphis Slim   (7:12)
2.     Country Girl – Earl, Little Willie John  (4:46)
3.     Tops Boogie Woogie –  Earl, Perkins, Pinetop (3:38)
4.     Eye to Eye – Earl, Smith, Willie (4:59)
5.     Yonders Wall – Earl, James, Elmore  (4:52)
6.     Ronnie’s Blues – Earl, Perkins, Pinetop (5:39)
7.     Shake for Me – Earl, Dixon, Willie  (4:30) 
8.     Ida B – Earl, Sykes, Roosevelt  (5:49) 
9.     Kidney Stew – Earl, Blackman, Leona  (5:05)
10.  I Woke up This Morning – Earl, Smith, Willie (5:51)
11.  Take It Easy Baby – Earl, Williamson, Sonny B  (4:27)
12.  Anna Lee – Earl, McCullum, Robert  (6:43)
13.  Forty Four Blues – Earl, Sykes, Roosevelt (4:27)  

Pinetop Perkins, piano, vocals, performer 
Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, drums, performer 
Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, bass, vocals performer 
Jose Alvarez, guitar
Bruce Katz, organ 
John Sebastian, harmonica
Ronnie Earl, guitar, producer, performer 

Plays Big Blues 
Black Top Records
1.     I Want to Shout About It     (3:32)
2.     Bonehead Too                    (3:37)
3.     Peace of Mind                    (5:24)
4.     Off the Hook                       (2:57)
5.     Ronnie Johnnie                  (2:56)
6.     I Smell Trouble                   (2:51)
7.     Blind Love                            (4:41)
8.     I Wish You Could See Me Now  (3:35)
9.     Backstroke                                 (4:17)
10.  Ships Passing in the Night         (4:52)

The Colour of Love
With special guest Gregg Allman
of the Allman Brothers Band,
Vocals & Hammond B3 on "Everyday Kind of Man" 

1.     Hippology     (4:56)
Bonnie’s Theme    (7:49)
Everyday Kinda Man    (4:35)
‘Round Midnight    (9:43)
Deep Pockets    (5:15)
The Colour of Love  (10:17)
I Liked That Think You Did   (4:53)
Anne’s Dream   (5:00)
Heart of Glass  (6:13)
Mother Angel   (5:48)
O’Yeah   (4:00) 

The continuing musical saga of bluesman Ronnie Earl ventures further into jazz territory with this, his first release on the Verve imprint. As always, Earl is ably and tightly backed by the Broadcasters, featuring solid and empathetic playing from drummer Per Hanson, bassist Rod Carey, and keyboardist and co-collaborator Bruce Katz. It's Katz's "Hippology" that opens the album with a swinging bang, sporting guest appearances on alto sax from Hank Crawford and Allman Brothers alumni Jaimoe on drums. Crawford also shows up again on "Anne's Dream," while Jaimoe joins Marc Quinones for a two-drummer rhythm section guest turn on "Bonnie's Theme" and "Mother Angel." Gregg Allman plays Hammond B-3 organ and contributes the album's only vocal on "Everyday Kinda Man." 

But guest stars aside, this is clearly Ronnie Earl's show to direct, and his playing, as always, sports exquisite taste, economy, and tone for days. His nine-plus-minute soliloquy on Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" (the only cover on this album) blasts the venerable jazz standard into new territory as Earl's passages take on almost trumpet-like tonalities, while his "I Like That Thing You Did" (dedicated to Jimmie Vaughan) creates an organ-like sound with tons of ultra-shimmering Leslie vibrato. Since adopting an all-instrumental format several albums back, Earl's music has blossomed in a multitude of directions, embracing jazz, soul, and the rockier aspects of guitarists like Carlos Santana (the title track) and Peter Green ("Heart of Glass"), and bringing new life to the organ jazz combo format ("Deep Pockets") while remaining true to his deep blues roots, like in his closing tribute to Albert Collins, "O'Yeah." This release pushes the envelope even further and breaks new ground, wrapped in the velvet glove of Tom Dowd's production.  by Cub Koda, All Music 

"Ronnie is considered by critics, fans, and musicians alike to be one of the greatest guitarists to ever grace this planet, and his music truly transcends genres and touches the soul. Be it jazz, blues, or standards, his dynamic approach to playing is respectful of his influences and at the same time transporting jazz and blues into the next millenium."    Read more in an
 interview with Ronnie by Tom Guerra on The Colour of Love at

Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters: The Colour of Love -- by George Graham

The Graham Weekly Album Review #1074