In 1963 Ronnie Horvath’s parents signed him up for piano lessons. They didn’t stick. In 1973, Horvath purchased a Martin acoustic guitar. He returned it the very next day for a Fender Stratocaster. In his early days playing with Muddy Waters, Muddy couldn’t remember his last name when he would call Ronnie up on stage, so he graciously changed his last name to “Earl” as a tribute to blues slide guitarist Earl Hooker. The rest is blues history.
Ronnie Earl has played alongside such legends as Hubert Sumlin, Earl King, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Kim Wilson and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band and many others, including, B.B. King, who said about Ronnie, “I feel the respect and affection for him that a father feels for his son. He is one of the most serious blues guitarists you can find today. He makes me proud.”
He is a four-time Blues Music Award winner as Guitar Player of the Year. He has served as an Associate Professor of Guitar at Berklee College of Music and has taught at the National Guitar summer workshop in Connecticut. He’s released 28 albums over the years and won many awards including a Downbeat Magazine Blues Album of the Year nod. Nearly all his records debuted on the Top 10 Billboard Blues chart and received wide critical acclaim. In 2022, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters celebrated 35 years as a band. Mercy Me (2022) is his 28th career album.