Ronnie Baker Brooks

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Ronnie Baker Brooks
Background information
Birth nameRodney Dion Baker
Born (1967-01-23) January 23, 1967 (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
GenresChicago blues, soul blues, electric blues
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1970s–present
LabelsWatchdog Records, Provogue

Ronnie Baker Brooks (born January 23, 1967)[1] is an American Chicago blues and soul blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was a respected club performer in Chicago, even before recording three solo albums for Watchdog Records. The son of fellow Chicago blues musician Lonnie Brooks,[2] he is the brother of another blues guitarist, Wayne Baker Brooks.

AllMusic journalist, Andy Whitman, described Brooks as "... a better than average soul singer, a fine blues interpreter, and a monster guitarist with an ample supply of technique and passion."[2]

Life and career[edit]

He was born Rodney Dion Baker in Chicago, Illinois, United States.[3]

At the age of nine, he first appeared on stage playing guitar alongside his father.[1] In 1985, he graduated from Hales Franciscan High School.[3] He learned to play bass guitar and joined his father's band in 1986. He played guitar on his father's live album, Live from Chicago: Bayou Lightning Strikes, released by Alligator Records in 1988. He was then part of Alligator Records' 20th Anniversary Tour, performing alongside Koko Taylor, Elvin Bishop, and Lil' Ed Williams.[3]

By 1998, Brooks was pursuing a solo career.[1] His debut album, Golddigger, was released the same year by the Watchdog label.[4] It was produced by Janet Jackson.[1] He was nominated for a Blues Music Award in 2000 for Best New Artist.[1] His second album, Take Me Witcha, was released in May 2001.[5]

Brooks next album was The Torch (2006). The Boston Herald described it as "ferocious and unrelenting, The Torch may be the year's best blues album." The album included contributions from Lonnie Brooks, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, Willie Kent, and Al Kapone and was produced by Jellybean Johnson.[6][7] From 2007 to 2010, Brooks toured with band members Carlton Armstrong, C.J. Anthony Tucker, and Steve Nixon,[8] to support The Torch. On occasions when his younger brother, Wayne Baker Brooks, joined him and his father on stage, they were billed as the Brooks Family Band.[7]

Brooks played at the Notodden Blues Festival in 2007 and at Memphis in May and the Musikfest in 2009. In August 2010, he co-wrote three tracks with Chris Beard for the latter's Who I Am and What I Do, released by Electro Glide Records.[9][10]

In 2012, the blues journalist David Brais declared Brooks "blues royalty", stating that "his particular style of Chicago blues has been performed on stages around the world. It honors the true torch bearers of this unique sound which includes Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Luther Allison and his father."[11]

Times Have Changed is Brooks most recent album, and was released in January 2017.[12]

Brooks lives in Dolton, Illinois, and is a regular at Artis's Lounge on Chicago's South Side.[3]


Year Title Record label
1998 Golddigger Watchdog Records
2001 Take Me Witcha Watchdog Records
2006 The Torch Watchdog Records
2017 Times Have Changed Provogue


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Hanson, Karen (2007). Today's Chicago Blues (1st ed.). Chicago: Lake Claremont Press. pp. 131–2. ISBN 978-1-893121-19-5.
  2. ^ a b "The Torch - Ronnie Baker Brooks - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ronnie Baker Brooks Biography". August 17, 2005. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  4. ^ "Golddigger - Ronnie Baker Brooks - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Take Me Witcha - Ronnie Baker Brooks - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  6. ^ Boston Herald. "Ronnie Baker Brooks". Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Eric Wrisley (March 10, 2011). "BluesWax Sittin' In with Ronnie Baker Brooks; Feelin' It from All Angles". BluesWax. Archived from the original on May 11, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  8. ^ "Jazz Piano Lessons Online - Learn Jazz Piano -". Free Jazz Lessons. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Chris Beard and Electro Glide Records". Chicago Blues News. August 17, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  10. ^ "Chris Beard Biography". November 2009. Archived from the original on February 28, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  11. ^ Baris, David (January 2012). "Ronnie Baker Brooks: Keeping the Blues Alive, Family Style. JAM Magazine Speaks Candidly with Blues Royalty, Ronnie Baker Brooks". JAM Magazine Online. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  12. ^ "Times Have Changed - Ronnie Baker Brooks - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Ronnie Baker Brooks - Album Discography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 October 2018.

External links[edit]