Ronnie Earl & Lev
Nemo, Ronnie & John R.

Ronnie Earl had begun to gain a national reputation for being a hot guitar slinger, and put out a solo album while with Roomful for brothers Hammond and Nauman Scott on Blacktop Records out of New Orleans. The brothers, being Southern gentlemen from up in "Alex" or Alexandria, Louisiana, had a real genuine charm about them and were proud owners of one of the coolest Blues labels around. They had an incredible run from 1981 to 1999. Their father was a federal judge who was personally appointed by President Ronald Reagan. This was more than evident when they and I were invited to the National Republican Convention in New Orleans, where President Reagan spoke in 1988. Nauman a.k.a. Nemo was trying to build a natural gas pipeline from West Texas to Dallas and then to New Orleans. He was a very capable lawyer. Nauman reminded me of a young Orson Welles and/or Ernest Hemingway. Hammond -- or Hambone or just Bone or Ham, as we often called him -- was an assistant district attorney in Orleans Parish under Harry Connick Jr.'s father. Hammond could've been an identical double to William Hurt in the movie "Body Heat" (1981) with Kathleen Turner.

They were always more than generous and gracious to all of us. The two Scott brothers always picked up the tab and even sent Ronnie Earl and me plane tickets from time to time to come visit on our off days from Roomful. More often than not, we did paying studio sessions, too. Nauman let me stay at his gorgeous apartment on Dumaine St. and Royale down in the Quarter until we all found a three-family house together uptown, in the Garden District. If a guitarist like Snooks Eaglin or Earl King fancied a particular guitar, it was theirs without even having to ask.

"TALES of a ROAD DOG" - 'The Lowdown Along the Blues Highway' by Ron Levy
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