Thursday, February 21, 2008
Ronnie Earl...Guitar from the soul
from Wiki...(where else?)
Ronnie Earl (born Ronald Horvath, March 10, 1953, New York) is an American blues guitarist and music teacher.
Earl collected blues, jazz, rock and soul records while growing up. He studied music composition in college, and moved to Boston in 1975 to pursue a Master's Degree in Special Education, and teaching handicapped children. It was at this time that he attended a Muddy Waters concert at the now-defunct "Speakeasy". After seeing Waters perform in a close setting, Earl took up the guitar. He quickly began playing in the Boston blues scene. His break came in 1981 when he replaced Duke Robillard as lead guitarist for the Providence, Rhode Island band, Roomful of Blues. It was also around this time that he adopted the last name of "Earl". As he put it, "Muddy Waters would invite me onstage, but he could never say my last name. So because I liked Earl Hooker, I took the last name of "Earl".
Both Earl and Robillard were based in Providence at this time. The technically deft and musically encyclopedic Robillard took Earl under his wing. The result was a jazzy, soulful blues style, as well as his slow burn style which fans found both mesmerizing and exhilarating. He began performing solo in 1986, in addition to playing with Roomful of Blues, and he released his first solo album on the Black Top Records label with a quartet that focused on blues instrumentals. After leaving Roomful of Blues, he began collaborations with contemporaries Ron Levy and Jerry Portnoy, Earl King, Jimmy Rogers, and Jimmy Witherspoon. It was also around this time that Earl got treatment for a substance-addiction.
Earl began teaching guitar at Berklee College of Music in 1992, and has released instructional videos. He also was the blues instructor at the 'National Guitar Summer Workshop'. In the early 1990s he resumed touring and recording several more albums on the Black Top label. His albums primarily consist of strong instrumental compositions and traditional covers. Playing in a bars became a burden for someone who worked hard to maintain his sobriety, and an increasingly demanding touring schedule added to the stress. In the late 1990s, Earl was diagnosed with depression, forcing him to cut back on his performances. He continued to work actively as a teacher and instructor, and also performed at facilities for the mentally ill.
Ronnie Earl is a modern master of the blues guitar, his instrumental work helps keep the blues alive. This is a great feat for a blues man that does not choose to sing.
OK I have to ask you to do the math here now, look at the year he was born, 1953, then look at the year he took up guitar, 1975, the math tells me he didnt start learning guitar till he was 22 years old, AMAZING, below I will post two songs and you can hear what I mean...
Click here to listen to Ronnie Earl and Kim Wilson on I Smell Trouble
Click here to listen to Ronnie Earl and Sugar Ray on My Home is a Prison
The above photo came from here
you really should look at this guy's photo collection.