LAS VEGAS, NV – – Four-time Blues Music Award-winning guitarist Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, as well as acclaimed Canadian guitarist Colin James, are set to play the 2019 edition of the Big Blues Bender on Friday, September 6 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Both sets will take place at “The Joint”: Colin James from 6:30 – 7:45pm; followed by Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters from 8:15-9:45pm.
Ronnie Earl, who has won “Guitar Player of the Year” honors four times from the Blues Foundation, was the hit of the most-recent Blues Music Awards show in Memphis with his show-stopping live performance of the Junior Wells classic, “In the Wee Hours.”
Earl is following that up with the August 30 release of the latest Stony Plain Records album (on CD and vinyl formats) from the blues guitar master and his band, the Broadcasters, Beyond the Blue Door. Ronnie Earl believes in the power of music to heal the mind and spirit, and that’s quickly evident in the 15 tracks on his new disc. Special guests on the album include David Bromberg, acoustic guitar and vocals; Kim Wilson, harmonica and vocals; and Greg Piccolo, tenor sax.
The core group of Broadcasters will be performing at the Big Blues Bender: Ronnie Earl, guitar; Dave Limina, Hammond B3 and piano; Diane Blue, vocals; Paul Kochanski, bass and Forrest Padgett, drums.
Beyond the Blue Door confirms Earl’s status as one of the most soulful blues/soul/jazz guitarists working today. He’s also 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.
Perhaps David Bromberg, himself a master guitar craftsman, said it best about him: “Ronnie Earl is an incredible musician. He plays with more emotion than anyone else who plays blues, or really anything, today, and he gets me every time I hear him. The Broadcasters are the quality of musicians you would expect Ronnie to be playing with: solid, tasteful, and moving. You can’t be better than that.”
Acclaimed guitarist Colin James released his 19th album, Miles to Go, last September on Stony Plain Records in the USA; True North Records for the rest of the world. Miles to Go is Colin James’ ambitious sequel to his critically-acclaimed 2016 CD, Blue Highways, and it continues James’ story with a collection of carefully curated songs handpicked from some of the greatest blues artists.
In the months leading up to the recording, as James was reflecting on songs for the album he decided to reacquaint himself with a beautiful red Gibson ES-335. It was just like the guitar he played as a teenager, but regretfully had to sell for rent money.
While James reconnected with this guitar, Miles to Go seemed to just flow onto the studio floor.
This album blends songs old and new, some of them completely reimagined and some almost perfect homages. But all are unified by a theme of undying love for the blues and the highest respect for the creators that led the way.
Known as one of Canada’s best blues musicians, it wasn’t until Blue Highways that James found himself on a blues chart: the album spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Roots Music Report’s Blues Chart. It also landed him one of his biggest hits: “Riding in the Moonlight,” a Willie Dixon song that James once covered when busking in the streets and subways of Toronto and Montreal that landed on a Spotify playlist garnering millions of streams.
“Blues has always been a pass-it-forward kind of thing,” says James. “It’s also surprisingly hard to write. You have to be careful how modern you get in your phrasing. Certain writers can write a song that sounds like it was done 40 years ago, but it’s deceptively hard.”
Colin James will also perform at the annual star-studded charity to benefit the Handy Artists Relief Trust (HART) on Wednesday, September 4. 100% of the proceeds benefit HART. For more information on the HART fund, visit blues.org/hart-fund. This event is ONLY open to attendees of the Big Blues Bender due to limited capacity Tickets are $35 – Standing Room Only Section; $65 – Reserved Seating Section.
When: Wed Sep, 4, 2019 @ 8pm (Doors 7:30pm)
Where: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Vinyl
Ronnie Earl hi-res photo: http://www.markpuccimedia.com/RonnieEarlBand-Photo-by-Tom-Hazeltine.jpg
Colin James hi-res photo: http://www.markpuccimedia.com/Colin-James-Hi-Res-2-by-James-Omara.jpg
For more on Big Blues Bender, visit www.bigbluesbender.com