By: Tom Pragliola
By: Tom Pragliola
Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters - BB King's NYC
February 25, 2016
BB King's Blues Club - NYC
Upon taking the stage at 8:00 pm, Ronnie said “So nice to be in my hometown, New York City. We don’t have to stop at the usual time because there’s no one playing after us.” It was a very promising introduction. Noticeably happy and relaxed, he talked about how it has been 27 years that he has been clean and sober. He also mentioned the musicians he expected to join him on stage during the show – Bobby Radcliffe, Zeke from Matt Umanov Guitars, and Nick Moss and Michael Ledbetter. And then he simply said “we’re gonna play some blues for you”.
After a ten minute blues introduction, Diane Blue was brought out to join the band. A seasoned, powerful vocalist with a cheerful and sassy vibe, she belts out the blues with authenticity. Taking frequent forays into the audience, Ronnie enjoyed a good part of the show playing among the crowd at the tables. First, a twenty-four minute extravaganza of soulful blues – “A Higher Form of Love” and “Double Trouble”, and later a hypnotizing “In The Wee Hours” from his 2014 CD, “Good News”.
Other highlights were Nick Moss and Michael Ledbetter joining the band for “Sundown”, and “It Takes Time”, and Bobby Radcliffe joining the band on “I’ll Take Care of You”. Throughout the show Mr.Earl expressed thanks and appreciation to the audience and to the other musicians. Encouraging the crowd to get up and dance, Ronnie and the band closed out the show with Gladys Knight’s “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination” and his hauntingly beautiful “Miracle”.
Ronnie returned to the stage with Diane Blue and the two of them sat down together at the edge of the stage and performed Robert Johnson’s “Malted Milk” and Ronnie’s “Take A Little Walk With Me”. It was now 11:15, at which point an assistant came out and whispered in Ronnie’s ear and then he announced that he’d been told that he had to stop playing. As the crowd filed out, Ronnie sat there on the stage talking to his fans. He still wasn’t ready to go.
One of the premier guitarists of his generation, Ronnie Earl, with his band The Broadcasters, will be performing A Tribute To Otis Rush at the Chicago Blues Festival on June 12, 2016.
See the photos and video from the show below!