Ronnie Earl review…August 26, 2019….

RONNIE EARL AND THE BROADCASTERS

BEYOND THE BLUE DOOR

STONY PLAIN CD  SPCD 1407

BRAND NEW ME–BABY HOW LONG–DROWN IN MY OWN TEARS–ALEXIS’ SONG–THE SWEETEST MAN–IT TAKES A LOT TO LAUGH, IT TAKES A TRAIN TO CRY–A SOUL THAT’S BEEN ABUSED–WHY CAN’T WE LIVE TOGETHER–BLUES WITH A FEELING–T-BONE STOMP–WOLF SONG–PEACE OF MIND–DROWNING IN A SEA OF LOVE–BRINGING LIGHT (TO A DARK TIME)–BLUES FOR CHARLOTTESVILLE

Guitarist Ronnie Earl is a staunch believer, as are we, that music has the power to heal a tortured soul, and, Lord knows, this world is full of trouble that needs a healing.  He and The Broadcasters have whipped up a powerful batch of music to soothe society’s pain.  It’s a fairly even mix of covers and originals that is entitled “Beyond The Blue Door,” for Stony Plain.

Ronnie and The Broadcasters have been playing as a unit for years now, and this set features special guests Kim Wilson, Greg Piccolo, and David Bromberg.  The set opens on a swingin’ note as vocalist Diane Blue offers a jazzy rendition of Aretha’s “Brand New Me.”  She returns a bit later with a topical, gritty read of Little Timmy Thomas’ Seventies’ classic, “Why Can’t We Live Together.”  She provides one of our favorites with a smoldering, sultry version of the lover who’s “been down two times,” and who is now, “Drowning In A Sea Of Love.”

Kim Wilson is on vocals and harp for two more favorites.  It’s straight, no chaser, Chicago blues all the way with Howlin’ Wolf’s “How Long Baby,” and again with Marion Walter Jacobs’ “Blues With A Feeling.”

Ronnie’s instrumentals rounded out the favorites.  Dave Limina’s keys work is the perfect complement to Ronnie’s soulful leads on “Drown In My Own Tears,” while “The Wolf Song” takes one back to the halcyon days of Chess Records as Ronnie re-creates that vintage sound, featuring Kim Wilson on harp.  The set closes with a moving tribute to the tragic events of August 11th and 12th of 2017, Ronnie’s poignant “Blues For Charlottesville,” his slow-blues leads ably capturing the angst of that tragic weekend.

Ronnie Earl is an incredible artist, and The Broadcasters are equally as brilliant.  Together, they set about to heal a troubled nation thru offering up some of the best in contemporary blues with “Beyond The Blue Door.”   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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