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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, June 15, 2022

Stony Plain Records artist: Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters - Mercy Me - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Mercy Me, from Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters and it's strong. Opening with Muddy Waters' classic shuffle, Blow Wind Blow in Earl style and it's great. With Diane Blue handling the lead vocals nicely, Dave Limina on B3, Paul Kochanski on bass and Forrest Padgett on drums and Peter Ward sharing the guitar work with Earl, this is a solid opener. Slow blues, Blues For Duke Robillard, is prime Earl. I know that this may sound repetitive, but although Earl is an excellent player across the spectrum, his flow and chops on slow blues instrumentals are really tops in todays market. His feel, phrasing and tone is excellent and this track is an excellent example. With a slight uptick, Anthony Geraci's A Prayer For Tomorrow, is another great jam showing Earl not only with strong lead phrasing but gripping trem bends and lush chords under the beautiful key work of Geraci. Very nice. Another great shuffle, Dave's Groove, has just the right feel with Earl playing just behind the beat adding nice tension. Mario Perrett lets it fly on tenor sax giving the track a fat horn push along with Limina's B3 work. Excellent! Percy Mayfield's Please Send Me Someone To Love features Blue again on lead vocal and powerful horn work by Perrett on tenor and Mark Earley on bari sax adding a real soulful feel. The warm B3 tone by Limina and Padgett's light drum rhythm lends an excellent slate for Earl's clean, complimentary guitar soloing. Clocking in at over 10 minutes, a terrific track. Wrapping the release is Higher and Higher, further reinforcing the R&B influences throughout the release. Blue gets a great groove going, backed by Tess Ferraiolo on backing vocals and with the warm, gospel feel of  Limina on B3 and piano, excellent sax work by Perrett and Earley really sets the stage for Earl's highlighted guitar accents. Very nice closer for a strong release. 

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