By Damian Fanelli
Blues guitarist extraordinaire Ronnie Earl has announced a new album, The Luckiest Man. The disc, which was recorded with Earl's longtime band, the Broadcasters, will be released November 17 via Stony Plain Records.
According to Earl, The Luckiest Man is “a traditional blues album of remembrance, love and unwavering resolve to live with faith and gratitude.”
The album follows the sudden loss of Jim Mouradian, the band’s bassist (and a respected luthier), who died in January. In fact, the album is named after something Mouradian said fairly often: “I’m the luckiest man you know—and I don’t even know who you know.”
The band addresses loss on “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” and “Jim’s Song.” On “Long Lost Conversation,” Earl is reunited with some of the earliest Broadcasters (current members of Sugar Ray and the Bluetones), including Sugar Ray Norcia (vocals, harp), Anthony Geraci (piano), Mike Welch (guitar), Neil Gouvin (drums) and Michael "Mudcat" Ward (bass).
Earl also puts his indelible stamp on interpretations of “Ain’t That Loving You,” “So Many Roads” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is.” You can see a full track list below.
Besides Earl on guitar, the Broadcasters include Dave Limina (keyboards), Diane Blue (vocals), Forrest Padgett (drums) and Paul Kochanski (bass). Other guests include Nicholas Tabarias (guitar), Mark Earley (baritone sax), Mario Perrett (tenor sax) and Peter Ward (guitar).
In case you were wondering, Earl is a three-time Blues Music Award winner as Guitar Player of the Year, a DownBeat magazine winner for “Blues Album of the Year,” an associate professor of guitar at Berklee College of Music and has taught at the National Guitar summer workshop in Connecticut.
In the words of the late B.B. King: "[Ronnie Earl] is one of the most serious blues guitarists you can find today. He makes me proud.”
For more information, check out the preview below and visit ronnieearl.com.
The Luckiest Man Track Listing
1. Ain’t That Loving You
2. Southside Stomp
3. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
4. Jim’s Song
5. Heartbreak (It’s Hurtin’ Me)
6. Howlin’ Blues
7. Never Gonna Break My Faith
8. Long Lost Conversation
9. Sweet Miss Vee
10. Blues for Magic Sam
11. So Many Roads
12. You Don’t Know What Love Is