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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Stony Plain Records artist: Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters - Father's Day - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (July 17, 2015), Father's Day, from Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters and it's terrific! I have to admit that I've always had a soft spot for Earl but these last two releases have been over the top. Opening with Otis Rush's It Takes Time with Michael Ledbetter on lead vocals, Earl lays down a super guitar shuffle supported strongly by Lorne Entress on drums, Jim Mouradian on bass and Dave Limina on B3. Excellent! Higher Love, another shuffle track has a deep almost drag which gives it a cool gait. Ledbetter shares vocals with Diane Blue and Earl plays classic guitar riffs over the sax work of Mario Perrett and Scott Shetler. Very nice! Another Rush tune, Right Place Wrong Time has excellent pace and Earl is squeezing out ever drop of blues from his strat from the opening intro. You may as well drop what you're doing right now... cause when you hear it... it will stop you in your tracks! Ledbetter is such a great choice of vocalists for this track and he really hits it! Excellent! Magic Sam's, What Have I Done Wrong,features Diane Blue on lead vocal and she has a super voice. This track struts and Earl is just as fresh as the first time I heard him with stinging, dripping riffs. Shetler really holds the bottom down on this track and Limina makes it glide on B3. Van McCoy's Giving Up is a huge soul tune with amazing dynamics compliments of Ledbetter on vocal. Earl coaxes the blues out of the track in the nicest possible way and Perrett blows a great sax solo. Absolutely brilliant! Fats Domino's Every Night About This Time is a super New Orleans style blues with a heavy kick. Ledbetter again carries the weight on vocals and Earl is absolutely on fire just kicking ass on guitar. Title track, Father's Day, has a slower pace with nice piano work from Limina. Clocking in at over 8 minutes, Ledbetter, Earl and Limina each take nice opportunities to enrich this track. Very nicely done! BB King's shuffle, I Need You So Bad, is up next and Ledbetter really hands tight on the King's thing. A cool B3 solo from Limina opens the soloing and Earl rides the groove nicely. Brook Benton's I'll Take Care Of You is up next and Diane Blue is excellent! Limina sets up a warm cushion of B3 for her to belt out the blues and she takes full advantage of it. Nicholas Tabarias put up a real nice guitar solo in the first of a series of solos on this 9 minute bluestravaganza. Limia is second on B3 doing an exceptional job as well leading up to Earl. Nicely phrased and quietly timed, this track cooks! Blue is back, sharing with Ledbetter lead vocals on funky, Follow Your Heart. Earl hits the strings with a plucky guitar solo leading back to the vocal duo and ultimately Tabarias again for a tight conclusion. Bobby Timmons jazz track, Moanin', is a fine swing style instrumental with classic Earl chording and really hot sax solos from Perrett and Shetler. Limina really gets the chance to break loose on this one laying out some really nice B3 work before turning over the floor to Earl. Earl really works it over needless to say, this being the only track of it's kind on the release and throws everything but the kitchen sink at it. Very cool! Another Magic Sam track, All Your Love, takes an absolute great road with Ledbetter on vocal and Earl playing crisp riffs in response to his vocal call. Limina takes a really sweet piano break on this one but as you might imagine, it's Earl that milks this one for all it's worth. Ledbetter's vocals just work so nicely with Earl's guitar work that they seem to feed each other. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Rev. Thomas Dorsey's Precious Lord. Diane Blue really shows the richness of her vocals supported by nicely stylized key work from Limina. Earl plays beautiful guitar work under the vocal work, ultimately coming to the top but still holding in quiet and respectful volume. This track is powerful and beautiful. This is an excellent release and one that I feel belongs in every modern blues lovers collection!

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