ron­nie earl

This con­tem­po­rary blues player ab­sorbs var­i­ous gen­res to cre­ate his own voice. Les David­son doffs a re­spect­ful cap to the Earl of Queens.

Guitar Techniques - - GT LEARNING ZONE -

R on­nie Earl, born Ron­ald Ho­varth in 1953, was a rel­a­tive late­comer to mu­sic, only pick­ing up the gui­tar as a stu­dent in Bos­ton in the early 1970s af­ter hav­ing seen Muddy Waters perform live. His love of blues, how­ever, stretched back much fur­ther. Grow­ing up in Queens, New York City, Ron­nie was en­chanted by blues, jazz, soul and rock – when he started his mu­si­cal ca­reer in his 20s he em­braced all of th­ese in­flu­ences, of­ten strad­dling the gen­res with a grace­ful sub­tlety born of liv­ing in one of the most so­phis­ti­cated mu­sic cities in the world.

Once he’d de­cided on his fu­ture in mu­sic, Ron­nie be­came in­volved in the Bos­ton blues scene, also mak­ing trips to Chicago and Austin, Texas where he be­came friends with older brother of Ste­vie Ray, the great Jim­mie Vaughan, ap­pear­ing on­stage with the man who had first inspired him: Muddy Waters.

In 1979 Ron­nie re­placed Duke Ro­bil­lard in Rhode Is­land jump blues out­fit Room­ful Of Blues where he spent the next eight years tour­ing and recording, while the band grew in pop­u­lar­ity as the blues re­vival took flight.

In 1988 he left Room­ful Of Blues to form his own out­fit, The Broad­cast­ers, re­leas­ing their de­but Soul Searchin’ in the same year. De­spite ca­reer breaks to deal with al­co­hol and co­caine ad­dic­tion and de­pres­sion, Earl con­tin­ues to record with The Broad­cast­ers as well as en­joy­ing the suc­cess of a solo ca­reer. He’s re­ceived the W C Handy Blues award on three oc­ca­sions and is an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of gui­tar at Bos­ton’s pres­ti­gious Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic.

Earl en­joys a rep­u­ta­tion as a lead­ing fig­ure in the blues re­vival of the 80s and 90s and as a pol­ished gui­tarist who ab­sorbs dis­parate mu­si­cal in­flu­ences (Otis Rush, John Coltrane and Wes Mont­gomery among them) and rein­ter­prets the blues with a unique voice.

Ron­nie uses mainly a pick but some­times adds his first or sec­ond pick­ing fin­ger. If you take one thing from this les­son, let it be to make every note speak and bloom.

I feel the re­spect and af­fec­tIon for hIm that a fa­ther feels for hIs son. he Is one of the most se­rI­ous blues guI­tarIsts you can fInd today. he makes me feel very proud BB King

The mega-cool look­ing Ron­nie Earl with white 50s style Strat

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