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Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters - Rise Up

  by Lisa Torem

published: 26 / 11 / 2020

Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters - Rise Up
Label: Stony plain
Format: CD


Fantastic collection of reworked classics, original songs and live tracks from blues veterans Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters

Ronnie Earl is a four-time Blues Award winner as “Guitar Player of the Year,” with twenty-six albums to his credit. His band, yhe Broadcasters, consists of: Ronnie Earl (lead guitar), Dave Limina (guitar, piano and Hammond), Diane Blue (vocals), Forrest Padgett (drums) and Paul Kochanski (bass). His latest album, the fifteen-track ‘Rise Up,’ which clocks in at about eighty minutes is a follow-up to last years ‘Beyond the Blue Door.’ The songs were created and recorded during the early days of quarantine and include reworked classics, new arrangements and live cuts. The first track, ‘I Shall Not Be Moved’ is a gorgeous acoustic guitar solo. Then, ‘Higher Love,’ one of the band’s signature pieces, tumbles down the pipeline with mighty organ screams. Diane Blue’s brilliant lead lends an incredible forcefulness to this hot ensemble track. The bright rhythm guitar licks stand up on their own, but Earl’s electric add-ons are fever-inducing. The instrumental, ‘Blues for George Floyd’ is infused with infinite passion. Earl takes his time with the phrasing, articulating each tone as if it’s the last chance he’ll be allowed to play it. On ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is:’ The guitar intro. is complex and sets the stage for another one of Blue’s command performances. On the tribute to the late bluesman, ‘Blues for Lucky Peterson’ features Earl’s sensual tones which ooze like roasted marshmallows over a campfire. This is another elaborate arrangement on which each band member sizzles. ‘Big Town Playboy’ is a terrific classic twelve-bar blues extravaganza with fiery vocals. The “live” ‘Albert’s Stomp’ features a writhing progression that will wrap itself around your soul and refuse to let go. The warm screech of the organ solo is a pure adrenaline rush. The call and response between Earl and Blue is divine. ‘In the Dark’ is another song on which Earl’s tone is sublime, especially when it responds so intelligently to Blue’s every come-on. This is a classic song about romance with embracing lyrics. On ‘All Your Love,’ the lyrics are spare, leaving the music to speak precious volumes. ‘Lord, Protect My Child’ is a scintillating dance between the organ and guitar. The band does a wonderful job breathing new life into the Ray Charles classic, ‘Mess Around,’ with four-to-the floor drumming and blues-inflected keys. ‘Talking to Mr. Bromberg’ is a sweltering series of heartbreaking notes that simply get bolder and brighter with each advance. ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a hypnotic piece; something Robert Johnson might have picked out on a porch step. A real original. ‘Blues for J’ lies in sharp contrast to the other tracks, but will definitely appeal to the jazz-minded. ‘Navajo Blues’ is the grand finale. This delightful closer brings out the skills and passions of each band member. This is a wonderful album; the minutes flew by.

Track Listing:-
1 I Shall Not Be Moved
2 Higher Love
3 Blues For George Floyd
4 You Don't Know What Love Is
5 Blues For Lucky Peterson
6 Big Town Playboy
7 Albert's Stomp
8 In The Dark
9 All Your Love
10 Lord Protect My Child
11 Mess Around
12 Talking To Mr.Bromberg
13 Black Lives Matter
14 Blues For J
15 Navajo Blues

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