- Stony Plain Records announces a November 6th release date for Hope Radio, the new CD from the celebrated guitarist Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters. Recorded and filmed live (with a separate DVD forthcoming) in the studio before an audience at Wellspring Sound in Acton, Mass in April of this year, Hope Radio features 11 songs that showcase Ronnie Earl at his amazing best, backed by long-time members of The Broadcasters: Dave Limina - keyboards, Jim Mouradian - bass, and Lorne Entress - drums. Guests include Michael Mudcat" Ward on bass and piano and Nick Adams on second guitar.
A two-time W.C. Handy Blues Award winner as Guitar Player of the Year," Ronnie Earl has been hailed by musicians and critics alike as one of the premier blues guitarists of his generation and played alongside side such greats as Carlos Santana, Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner, Otis Rush, Earl King and Duke Robillard (who he replaced as guitarist in the legendary Roomful of Blues after Robillard left that band).
Hope Radio is Ronnie's fourth CD for Stony Plain, following his two solo albums: I Feel Like Goin' On (2003) and Now My Soul (2004); and his acclaimed 2005 teaming with Duke Robillard, The Duke Meets The Earl.
The all-instrumental Hope Radio drips with soul, spirituality and what Earl calls the healing approach" to guitar playing on its many highlights. The opening track, Eddie's Gospel Groove," with his blistering guitar tone and accompanying Hammond B3 organ, recalls the intensity of Santana. The jamming Bobby's Bop" delivers jazz grooves that bring to mind his early collaboration with organ legend Jimmy McGriff. On the slow, after-hours feel of Blues for the West Side," Earl salutes many of Chicago's West Side" school of guitarists, such as Buddy Guy and Luther Guitar Junior" Johnson. A new song, Katrina Blues," which features a rare solo acoustic guitar performance by Ronnie, drips with emotion and thoughts of those who suffered (and continue to suffer) in New Orleans, one of his favorite cities to play. Wolf Dance" is a beautiful, staccato-noted nod to one of his mentors, the great Hubert Sumlin of Howlin' Wolf's band. On Blues for the Homeless" Earl sends out his love and spiritual healing thoughts to those less fortunate, and dedicates Beautiful Child" to all the sick and suffering alcoholics and addicts in the world today." And on Blues for Otis Rush," he pays tribute to another dear friend and major influence.
Born in Queen's, New York, Ronnie Earl began playing guitar after entering college and landed his first gig in the house band of a Cambridge, Massachusetts club. In 1979, he replaced Duke Robillard in Roomful of Blues, spending the next eight years touring and recording with them. In addition to his Stony Plain recordings, he's released many acclaimed albums for Black Top Records, Bullseye Blues, Verve and Telarc. In 2008, Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters will celebrate 20 years as a band.