Beyond The Blue Door

Ronnie Earl And The Broadcasters

Stony Plain, 2019

http://www.ronnieearl.com

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/24/2019

Calling all blues enthusiasts: Ronnie Earl And The Broadcasters has returned with a new album. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Beyond The Blue Door is a blues tour-de-force that smolders on the slow blues tracks and scintillates on the faster-paced material.

Ronnie Earl, former guitarist for Blues Traveler and four-time Blues Music Award winner, is now three decades into his solo career. The Broadcasters includes keyboardist Dave Limina, drummer Forrest Padgett, bassist Paul Kochanski, and vocalist Diane Blue.

There are three classic soul songs that vocalist Diane Blue gets just right. Add in Earl’s blues guitar runs on “Brand New Me,” “Why Can’t We Live Together,” and “Drowning In The Sea Of Love,” and you have performances that present a soul and blues fusion at its best.

Many times, simple is best. Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry” has been recorded dozens and maybe hundreds of times. Here, it is just Ronnie Earl and guest David Bromberg. It is a raw and basic take on this old song that gives it a new perspective. Possibly the best moments on the album occur on “Alexis’ Song” courtesy of the duet between Earl’s guitar and Greg Piccolo’s tenor saxophone.

Earl, like most elite guitarists, has a sound that is very recognizable. This is very apparent on slower blues numbers “Baby How Long” and “Blues With A Feeling.” The clarity of his impeccable technique is clearly on display.

A new album by Ronnie Earl is always a cause for celebration. Beyond The Blue Door is one of his most soulful releases. It is modern day blues at its best.

Rating: B+

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