Sunday, 20 February 2011

Random Review #22 Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters - Grateful Heart Blues & Ballads

C9S5CD16 The Random selector takes me into my blues collection, and even though this is called in part Blues & Ballads it's not really a blues album, it's really a jazz album. So although I won't be giving this CD away maybe I might be re-categorising it!

I have played this CD hundreds of times and I never get bored with it, for a while it was all I ever played on a Sunday morning whilst drinking great coffee and pouring through the Sunday papers. It reminds me on sunshine as I can remember sitting on a balcony in Indian Rocks Beach (Florida) with amazing pastries from nearby bakery and great coffee watching the pelicans dive for fish, anticipating another great day on sunshine. Even in the coldest winter day in the UK playing this CD makes me warm and that's got to say something about this release!

So onto the music, guitar, drums, bass, keyboards and saxophone, it's as simple as that 5 stunning musicians who fill this CD with with 70 minutes of amazing music. All of the songs here are instrumentals a mix of originals and covers, but the covers disappear into the arrangements so you hear snippets of the original songs but really you are just immersed in the sound. Although there is break in between the songs this doesn't make any difference. I have never put this CD on and not listened to it all the way through. I couldn't tell you the titles of the songs or which is my favourite track. The album is complete and deserves to be listened to all the way through.

David 'Fathead' Newman plays sax on 6 of the 12 tracks and that is a treat in itself, I first become aware of 'Fathead' (no I don't know why he is called that) via Van Morrison, on one of the live Van Morrison CD's I have you can hear Van Morrison shouting something at his saxophone player, I realised after awhile he is saying "play it like Fathead" and if Van Morrison rates you as a musician then you have to be good!

I'm not a huge jazz music fan and other than having a few Miles Davis releases can't say I have much jazz music but this is so accessible I defy anybody not to like it. Although perfect for backing music it isn't bland. there is so much to like here and I do over and over again.

I once gave somebody a copy of this CD, that person was only really into R 'n' B and hip hop but on my request listened to this, although her first comments were " there is no point in me listening to it, I know I won't like it" well she still listens to it, three years on, and has loved it from the moment the opening bars of Alabama kick in.

If you want to be transported to another time of place where everything is just a little bit warmer, or if you already live somewhere hot and want a soundtrack for a very chilled relaxing time then go out and buy this.

Mark 10/10 ( my first perfect mark!)


I can't find a track from Grateful Heart on the Internet but this track gives you a feel for what Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters are about. Enjoy!

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