<back - RONNIE EARL - Impeccably schooled in the 'T-Bone Walker Institute of Rhythm' and imbued with the passion and soul of such West Side masters as Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and Earl Hooker, Ronnie Earl caresses the strings with utmost sensitivity one moment, alternately following it by a cluster of hard-edged riffs. The calm is shattered, but the impact is riveting. No guitarist in recent memory has plied his instrument with such unerring instinct in channeling his inner emotional state, as has Earl. Self-taught, he absorbed many lessons from a cavalcade of guitar honchos,

They ranged from T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Gatemouth Brown, Albert King, as well as such Jazz legends as Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and Herb Ellis. New York-born Ronnie Earl Horvath took up guitar in 1975 at the age of 22, after being mesmerized by a Muddy Waters concert in his adopted hometown of Boston. Soon he would back Otis Rush and Big Walter Horton, and in 1980 he inherited from Duke Robillard the stringed mantle in Roomful of Blues. In 1983, Ronnie started a side-group The Broadcasters, which released 2 albums: Smokin' and They Call Me Mr. Earl. The vocalists adorning The Broadcasters included Kim Wilson, Darrell Nulisch, and Sugar Ray Norcia. During Ronnie Earl's Roomful of Blues tenure, there were several albums featuring classic R&B legends, such as Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson, Big Joe Turner, and Earl King. Ronnie left Roomful on a very high note with 1987ís Live at Lupo's. Deciding to devote all his energies to his solo career, 1988 would see the completion of Soul Searchin' which would re-unite Earl and Duke. Of special note, it greeted many of Ronnieís most enduring compositions, After All, It's My Soul, Ships Passing In the Night, and You're The One. By this time The Broadcasters were culled down to a 3-piece unit: Bruce Katz, Per Hanson, and Rod Carey. The instrumental albums that emerged (Language of the Soul, Still River, Blues Guitar Virtuoso, Blues and Ballads, Color of Love) would take the Blues world by storm. In 1994, Downbeat Magazine chose 'Grateful Heart-Blues and Ballads' as Blues Album of the Year and Ronnie Earl was awarded the WC Handy Award for Best Blues Guitarist. 1997ís 'Color of Love' on Verve, produced by legendary producer Tom Dowd. His recent signing to Stony Plain Records, Ronnie Earl has re-emerged like a phoenix. I Feel Like Goiní On and Now My Soul compare with the very best of his work. -Gary Tate/LivinBlues  
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