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RONNIE EARL

Ronnie EarlRonnie Earl plays Blues guitar with jazz overtones with his band The Broadcasters, firing off guitar licks in the style of Otis Rush and Earl Hooker, and maintains a high standard of playing that has impressed those famous Blues players that shaped the music, A long career as a band leader has given Ronnie the chance to share the stage with many of those legends, and his skill on his faithful Fender has never let him down.

Ronald Horvath of Queens, New York, took up guitar when he was at college in Boston. He graduated in 1975 and after a Muddy Waters gig at a small club, he was inspired to get serious about the Blues. He practised furiously on his Stratocaster while working as a teacher and got a residency at Boston’s Speakeasy Club, changing his surname to Earl in tribute to the sublime guitar stylist, Earl Hooker. In 1977, after guesting with Otis Rush and Shakey Horton, Ronnie went to Chicago where Koko Taylor got him some ‘sit in’ gigs at local clubs.


The following year he took a break from teaching, and Ronnie explored the music scene in Atlanta, New Orleans and finally Austin TX, where hanging with Jimmie Vaughan and Kim Wilson convinced Ronnie to play the Blues full time. He recorded a track with Sunnyland Slim as well as New England bands The Rhythm Rockers and The Bluetones. In 1977, Ronnie began an eight year stint as lead guitar for the Providence RI institution, The Roomful of Blues when Duke Robillard left. Ronnie recorded his solo albums ‘Smokin’ ‘ and ‘They Call Me Mr. Earl’ for the Black Top label during this period, as an outlet for his own Blues that was not suitable for the big band.

Ronnie plays ‘Blues in D natural’ in tribute to Earl Hooker;

Ronnie Earl Discography
Ronnie’s Black Top collection ‘Test of Time’ is unavailable, but this live album is what Ronnie is all about, and The Broadcasters are in great form.

BLUES GUITAR VIRTUOSO LIVE IN EUROPE

When Ronnie went solo in 1988, he formed The Broadcasters (named after Leo Fender‘s first guitar) with Darrell Nulisch on vocals and harp player Jerry Portnoy. They released a series of well-received albums and, after many changes of personnel, The Broadcasters remains as the vehicle for Ronnie’s Blues. More than a dozen studio albums later, on top of live releases and including a more jazz-based instrumental album, Ronnie and his band continue to rip out those classic Blues licks. Ronnie had problems with alcohol for a while, but came back strong and also passed on his experience by working as an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and many National Guitar summer schools, as well as making an instructional DVD. Stress caused Ronnie to scale back his work for a while around 2000 too, but his 2003 album ‘I Feel Like Going On’, has been followed up by regular releases on the Canadian Stony Plain label. In a long career that has seen him share the stage with a roll-call of blues legends, such as Muddy, Buddy, Junior Wells, Clapton, Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie Earl has impressed a lot of people, but perhaps BB King put it best when he called Ronnie “One of the most serious Blues guitarists you can find today”.