Ronnie Earl and Friends

Ronnie Earl and Friends

by Ronnie Earl

CD

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Overview

Back in the ‘70s, Ronnie Horvath got his start playing behind legends on the Boston blues scene. It was the great Muddy Waters who suggested the young guitarist change his last name to Earl to honor his mentor, Earl Hooker. That done, Earl went on to a seven-year run with Roomful of Blues before taking off on his own. Now Earl comes full circle, inviting some of his early inspirations into the studio for Ronnie Earl and Friends. Among the highlights are musical meetings between the mighty Chicago Blues harp player James Cotton and his protégé Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, who play together for the first time on record, trading licks on “Mighty Fine Boogie,” “One More Mile,” and “No More.” Wilson’s harp and vocals also add some new blues-generation energy to “Rock Me Baby,” “Last Night,” and “Blue and Lonesome.” Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, who played with Muddy Waters and leads his own band, takes on vocals and fortifies Earl’s guitar by adding his own in righteous revivals of Magic Sam’s “All Your Love” and Eddie Taylor’s “Bad Boy.” New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas smoothes out the rowdy edges of the set with a medley of “I’ll Take Care of You” and “Lonely Avenue.” Here Earl’s guitar and Maxwell’s piano mournfully punctuate Thomas’s vocals. And when she updates Junior Wells’s “Viet Cong Blues” with a tribute to vets who are still tortured by their tours of Southeast Asia, “New Vietnam Blues.” Earl is the central focus of two instrumentals, his guitar shimmering and crying on “Twenty-five Days” and dancing furiously on “Looking Good.” Each cut shows that when you are among friends, the continuity between past and present is magnified and then fortified.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/25/2001
Label: Telarc
UPC: 0089408353727
catalogNumber: 83537
Rank: 146695

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