Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

RONNIE EARL AND THE BROADCASTERS

SPREAD THE LOVE

2010-09-21

The problem with reviewing a Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters disc is that you run out of accolades before you run out of disc. Stunning Guitar work! Great use of dynamics! Unmatched tone! Telepathic interplay with the band! Virtuosity in both jazz and blues! Mesmerizing tunes! Hot, Hot, Hot! This one is no different. Featuring Ronnie Earl on Guitar, Dave Limina on Piano and b3, Jim Moradian on bass and Lorne Entress on drums, the disc kicks off with the Albert Collins scorcher "Backstroke" which is delivered complete with Collins’ brittle guitar sound and a set- opening urgency. Just when you get ready to rock, Earl and crew pull way back on the reins for the moody, introspective "Blues for Dr. Donna", which takes advantage of the old Buddy Guy trick of taking the sound down to a whisper to force you to listen. And, as usual, the effort is worth it, especially as it takes you to "Chitlins Con Carne" which features lots of smoky b3 grooves. "Cristo Redentor" will strike a chord with Pat Metheny fans with its heady jazz runs. "Happy" has a bouncy wide open feel befitting its title while both "Patience" and "Miracle" feel almost reverent with churchy organ and an unhurried pace. "Spann’s Groove" strikes out in an entirely different direction with its Otis Spann inspired barrel house piano boogie and Earl’s firery fretwork. Hard hitting blues get a nod on "Blues for Slim" and "Tommy’s Midnight Blues" which are just as raucous as other tracks are tasteful and restrained. The contrast is as stark as the bumpkin Gomer Pyle suddenly becoming the sophisticated Jim Nabors! With 11 out of the 14 cuts exceeding 5 minutes Earl has plenty of time to make sure his vision of each song is fully realized. Since the quieter, jazzy side of the street gets more play here than houserockin’ party tunes this is the perfect backdrop to your more sophisticated gatherings. Instead of putting on some schmaltzy lounge music, grab this disc and treat yourself to some real music. Mark Smith www.ronnieearl.com www.stonyplainrecords.com

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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