Li'l Ronnie & The Grand DukesView In iTunes
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Rooted in swampy 1950s R&B, greasy rockabilly, and various shades of the blues spectrum, Li'l Ronnie & the Dukes are true believers in the American musical tradition. The band was led by veteran harpist Ronnie Owens, who had been in the blues revival scene since his teens, backing up blues legends such as John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, and John Mayall on his way to earning a Hohner harmonica endorsement, before fronting his own bands in 1979. Eventually recruiting Bobby Olive on drums, Craig Schneider on bass, Mike Dutton on guitar, Steve Utt on piano/organ, and Terry Hummer on saxophone, the Grand Dukes lineup was intact. Their first release, 1999's Too Fast for Conditions, was a hit among the blues revivalists, just as 2000's Young and Evil drew similarly favorable reviews. ~ Matt Fink