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Album Review

Blues guitarist Ronnie Earl has been making records since the end of the '70s, and he has a long legacy of fine picking to live up to, but it's not hard to wonder how much the man still has to say musically in a career that's spanned five decades. Released in 2015, Father's Day shows that Earl is not only still a master of the six-string, he still has a few new tricks up his sleeve. Father's Day gets its title from a song dealing with Earl's long estrangement from his father and their belated reconciliation, and it's a personal piece that gives Earl plenty of room to stretch out on spare, jazzy figures while the lyrics weigh the emotional hardships that come with family strife. Between the title cut and his two other originals on the album, "Higher Love" and "Follow Your Heart," Earl seems to be in a contemplative mood, pondering the nature of the heart and soul, and it suits him well, influencing his choice of covers like Bobby "Blue" Bland's "I'll Take Care of You" and Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey's famed spiritual "Precious Lord." Father's Day boasts a richer sound than Earl's last several albums, with a horn section bringing muscle to several cuts, Dave Limina's Hammond B-3 adding some welcome texture, and vocalists Diane Blue and Michael Ledbetter belting it out with plenty of soul power. Of course, Ronnie Earl himself is the headliner on Father's Day, and his guitar playing is what fans come to hear, and on that score this finds his chops and his imagination are both doing well indeed. While Earl's technique is excellent as he shows off his killer tone, splendid string bends, and bold flurries of notes, he also has the taste to hold back rather than drowning the songs in excess soloing, and once again shows off a jazzy sensibility for making sense of the space around the notes rather than randomly filling every nook and cranny. Father's Day is more conceptually bold and contemplative than many of Ronnie Earl's previous albums, and musically the work should satisfy blues fans of all stripes while also attracting more thoughtful listeners brought in by this album's clever, philosophical vantage point.

Customer Reviews

Father's Day Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

Titled in dedication to Ronnie Earl’s recently-lost father, and dedicated with gratitude as well to pianist David Maxwell, BB King and other influential artists and loved ones, this CD is tinged with a reflective and
emotional mood in its selection of songs and performers. His ethereally smooth, soaring riffs
and signature guitar tone are well demonstrated throughout the thirteen tracks.
Stellar vocalists Diane Blue and Michael Ledbetter join the Broadcasters (Dave Limina, keys, Jim Mouradian, bass, and Lorne Entress on drums), with guest sax players Mario Perrett and Scott

Shelter, and Larry Lusignan, Tim O’Connor and Nicholas Tabarias stepping in as back-up guitarists on three tracks.
Three-time winner of the Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist- Guitar, Ronnie Earl is recognized as a master musician of his generation. Few guitarists are equipped to seize the Magic Sam classic, “All Your Love” with the mastery needed to become the song and take it to its highest level, as he does on this album. Michael Ledbetter is well-chosen as the vocalist for this track.
With Ledbetter’s vocals again, Earl’s guitar, and Dave Limina’s keyboards punctuated by the background saxophones, the band’s rendition of Fats Domino’s composition, “Every Night about This Time,” stands equal to Luther Allison’s version on Love Me Mama.
Diane Blue’s driving vocals power the other Magic Sam song, “What Have I Done Wrong?” Another winner.
Equal justice is done by Earl and Ledbetter to “I Need You So Bad,” attributed to BB King, but equally known by Magic Sam’s rendition, and Otis Rush’s Right Place, Wrong Time.”
The title track, “Father’s Day,” composed and performed by Earl and Ledbetter, is perfection. Beautiful, meaningful lyrics expressed at a slow tempo that brings to mind a New Orleans funeral procession.
Another classic, “I’ll Take Care of You,” is engagingly interpreted through a perfect pairing of Blue’s vocals and Earl’s delicately sweeping guitar riffs (accompanied here by Tabarias).
The album closes with a gospel classic, “Precious Lord,” superbly executed, as is the entire cd.

An absolute beauty !!

As this is my first experience with Ronnie earl I can only say I'm blown away on how great this album is and a little ashamed with myself I had t found him before got it as a gift but trust me I'll be back for more farther's day , an absolute beauty !! Good on ya Ronnie

best of 2015

Another great Ronnie disc. Good vocals and guitar all through the set.Jazz and horns mixed in with tasteful guitar. This will grow on you, give it a listen.

Father's Day, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters
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Customer Ratings