Nearly four decades into his career, Ronnie Earl continues to Spread the Love one note at a time. His most recent release contains 14 highly-energetic instrumental tracks, each filled with passion of a man obviously doing what he loves. An artist that has consistently honed his craft throughout his career, Earl takes his guitar playing to a new level on Spread the Love, paying homage to many of his heroes, most notably Duane Allman, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
While most of the material is written by Earl and members of his band, the Broadcasters, the disc kicks off with a rousing rendition of Collins’ “Backstroke.” From the opening notes of another cover, Duke Pearson’s “Cristo Redentor,” it is instantly obvious that Earl is a man operating with an intense sense of faith, a spirit that also rings through on his original “Eleventh Step to Heaven.” Other standout tracks include “Skyman,” an homage to Allman, and “Miracle,” a tribute to baseball great Jackie Robinson.
By disc end, Earl leaves little doubt why he has so often been referred to as one of the preeminent guitarist of modern blues. In spreading the love he so passionately feels, this may just be his finest effort yet.
Spread the Love is out now on Stony Plain Records.