On Spread the Love, Ronnie Earl pays homage to those who have stood by him through good times and bad. These instrumental numbers allow him to move freely between blues, jazz and R&B idioms with sympathetic support from his longtime backup group the Broadcasters. Earl’s playing is lean and lyrical, implying more with a single note than many guitarists manage to do with three. His ruminative take on Kenny Burrell’s “Chitlins Con Carne” and his swooning touch on his own “Skyman” are especially moving. The Deep South murmurings of “Blues for Dr. Donna” are nicely contrasted with the dramatic flourishes of “Miracle.” Earl gives keyboardist Dave Limina room to shine in “Spann’s Groove” (a sweltering Chicago blues tune) and “Happy” (a summery number with a Booker T. & The MG’s feel). If there’s a spiritual heart to this album, it lies in “Cristo Redentor,” a Duke Pearson composition rendered with palpable longing. Spread the Love stands as both a tribute to Earl’s friends and heroes and a reaffirmation of his virtuosic talent.