Ronnie Earl is as good a blues guitarist as I have ever heard. Hope Radio is a return to the instrumental format that is all Ronnie. If you especially enjoy slow extended moving blues jams that touch you to the core, you'll love this album. It is a retrospective compilation of Ronnie's music catalog done live in studio in front of a small audience. It is audiophile level recording from a four-piece band, including hammond organ support throughout. Ronnie's sound is full and sweet as he hits just the right note each time. Much of what is featured here is from "Language of the Soul", a favorite of mine. While it is true that this album hits some slow spots, his sound and overall ability make those moments more tolerable to listen to than most other bluesmen who are stuck in the same rut. Johnny Winter comes to mind. Opening track "Bobbys Gospel Groove" is an exciting jam beginning to end, with a healthy dose of organ that brings to mind classic Santana. "Bobbys Bop" keeps the flow going. From here, Earl experiments with some mellow, tasteful "noodling". How you feel about these tracks largely depends on how you feel about guitar/jazz music as a whole. The first 3 songs are faster, then he and the band get bogged down playing slow song after slow song. For some it can be a bit tedious, for others it can be sultry. Things don't pick up again until the last 2 songs. Overall, a marvelous dose of blues on the slightly mellower side for those hot steamy summer evenings.
1. Eddie's Gospel Groove 2. Bobby's Bop 3. Blues For the West Side 4. I Am With You 5. Katrina Blues 6. Wolf Dance 7. Kay My Dear 8. Blues For the Homeless 9. Beautiful Child 10. Blues For Otis Rush 11. New Gospel Tune
LINK REPAIRED> Sorry.
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