Ronnie Earl

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This article refers to the musician. For the district attorney of Travis County, Texas, see Ronnie Earle.
Ronnie Earl
Earl playing the 1996 Riverwalk Blues Festival
Background information
Birth name Ronald Horvath
Born (1953-03-10) March 10, 1953 (age 63)
Queens, New York, United States
Genres Blues, rhythm and blues, jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1979–present
Labels Black Top, Telarc, Rounder, Stony Plain, Verve, Sledgehammer Blues/AudioQuest Music
Associated acts Roomful of Blues, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

Ronnie Earl (born Ronald Horvath, March 10, 1953, Queens, New York, United States)[1] is an American blues guitarist and music instructor.


Earl collected blues, jazz, rock and soul records while growing up. He studied American History at C.W. Post College on Long Island for a year and a half, then moved to Boston to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education and Education at Boston University where he would graduate in 1975.[2] He spent a short time teaching handicapped children. It was during his college years that he attended a Muddy Waters concert at the Jazz Workshop in Boston. After seeing Waters perform, Earl took a serious interest in the guitar, which he had first picked up in 1973. His first job was as a rhythm guitarist at The Speakeasy,[3] a blues club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to playing in the Boston blues scene, Earl traveled twice by Greyhound Bus to Chicago, where he was introduced to the Chicago blues scene by Koko Taylor.

Later he traveled to New Orleans and Austin, Texas, where he spent time with Kim Wilson, Jimmie Vaughan and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. In 1979 he joined Roomful of Blues as lead guitarist for the band.

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.

In 1988, Earl formed his own band that he called The Broadcasters, named after one of the first Fender guitars which originally had been labeled The Broadcaster and was distributed in 1950. The first group of Broadcasters included Darrell Nulisch (vocalist), Jerry Portnoy (harmonica), Steve Gomes (bass), and Per Hanson (drums). In 1988 they released their first album, Soul Searchin, followed by Peace of Mind in 1990. Their album Language of the Soul was released in 1994. The lineup for the Broadcasters for that album was Bruce Katz (keyboards), Per Hanson (drums) and "Rocket" Rod Carey (bass). The next album The Colour of Love, featured Marc Quinones (percussion) and Gregg Allman (keyboards). The association lead to Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters opening for the Allman Brothers Band at Great Woods, and Warren Haynes (guitar for the Allman Brothers Band) sitting in with Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters at Johnnie D's in Somerville. Later Katz joining the Gregg Allman Band.

In 2000, Earl was diagnosed with several medical ailments,[4] and scaled back his touring, as well as re-evaluating his career plans. The current group of Broadcasters, Jimmy Mouradian (bass), Dave Limina (organ), and Lorne Entress (drums), began playing together prior to the 2003 release of I Feel Like Going On and, in 2009, released Living in the Light, their fifth release from Stony Plain Records.[5] In October 2015, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters celebrated twenty-seven years as a band.

Earl is a three-time Blues Music Award winner as Guitar Player of the Year.[6] For five years he was an Associate Professor of Guitar at Berklee College of Music and, in 1995, he released Ronnie Earl: Blues Guitar with Soul, an instructional VHS tape that was then re-released in DVD format in 2005. Earl was also the blues instructor at the 'National Guitar Summer Workshop'.

In early 2004, Earl's "Hey Jose" won in the third Independent Music Awards for Best Blues/R&B Song.[7]



Roomful of Blues[edit]


Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • 1983 Smoking (Kim Wilson, voc.)
  • 1984 They Call Me Mr. Earl (Kim Wilson, voc.)
  • 1988 Soul Searching
  • 1990 Peace of Mind
  • 1990 I Like It When It Rains
  • 1991 Surrounded by Love
  • 1993 Still River
  • 1994 Language of the Soul
  • 1996 Eye to Eye
  • 1996 Greateful Heart: Blues and Ballads
  • 1997 The Colour of Love
  • 2000 Healing Time
  • 2001 & Friends
  • 2003 I Feel Like Goin’ On
  • 2004 Now My Soul
  • 2005 The Duke Meets the Earl
  • 2009 Living in the Light
  • 2010 Spread the Love
  • 2014 Good News
  • 2015 Father's Day
  • 2016 Maxwell Street

Live albums[edit]

  • 1993 Blues and Forgiveness – Live in Europe (also Blues Guitar Virtuoso – Live in Europe)
  • 1994 Jimmy Rogers with Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters
  • 2007 Hope Radio
  • 2013 Just for Today


  • 1985 Deep Blues (Kim Wilson, voc.)
  • 1992 Test of Time: A Retrospective
  • 1997 Plays Big Blues
  • 2006 Heart and Soul: The Best of Ronnie Earl

Guest appearances[edit]

Ronnie Earl has appeared as a guest on over 40 albums and projects. [9] I've Got Something To Tell You" - Blues and Old-time Fiddle with Ilana Katz Katz and friends, 2014


  • 2001 Blues Guitar with Soul
  • 2008 Hope Radio Sessions

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Huey, Steve (1953-03-10). "Ronnie Earl". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  2. ^ "Ronnie Earl's official website". Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  3. ^ "The Blues Audience Speakeasy article". 2004-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  4. ^ "Ronnie Earl Interview by Brian D. Holland". Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  5. ^ "Canada's Roots, Rock, Country, Folk & Blues Label". Stony Plain Records. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  6. ^ "2014 Blues Music Awards Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  7. ^ "Independent Music Awards - 3rd Annual Winners". Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  8. ^ Earl, Ronnie. "Discography". RonnieEarl. Retrieved 20 March 2016. 
  9. ^ Earl, Ronnie. "Guest Appearances". Ronnie Earl. Retrieved 20 March 2016. 

External links[edit]