Album Reviews

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters – Good News (Stony Plain)

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters Good NewsFor over 25 years, guitarist Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters have consistently released heartfelt guitar-driven blues, and Good News ably continues that tradition. Released on the heels of his third Best Guitarist Award win at The Blues Music Awards,  Good News features a now-11 year old iteration of The Broadcasters that includes Dave Limina on keys, drummer Lorne Entress and bassist Jim Mouradian.

Good News is a nod to Sam Cooke’s Ain’t That Good News release of 50 years ago; fittingly, Earl’s album includes a soulful cover of “Change Is Gonna Come” which features vocalist Diane Blue. The counterpoint of Earl’s emotive soloing and Dave Limina’s inspired B3 behind the vocals make this one of the more memorable interpretations of this classic.

Showing Earl’s great diversity, “I Met Her On That Train” is a rockabilly swing in the vein of “Mystery Train” – definitely a departure from Earl’s normally blues-based stylings.  Also included is a beautiful version of “Time To Remember” –originally released on his 1993 album Still River. This version features a slower, more relaxed groove that allows the sparse yet fluid guitar lines to interplay beautifully with the keyboards. The Limina-penned title track has a Gospel groove that really lets Earl stretch out musically. The most powerful track on the album is “Running In Peace” – a heartfelt, slow blues tribute to the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

With Good News, Ronnie Earl again demonstrates the musical mastery that continues to garner him both awards and accolades.

-Brian Cady

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