Ronnie Baker Brooks

Lør. 9. nov. 22 – 23

Ronnie Baker Brooks Guitar / vocal
Daryl Coutts Keyboards
Philip Castleberry Bass
Chris Singleton Drums

“I Ronnie Baker Brooks’ hænder har bluesrock aldrig lydt så medrivende. Soul har aldrig lydt så lækkert. Og bluesen har aldrig lydt så dybt… en af nutidens bedste livekunstnere.”
Blues Music Magazine

“En monsterguitarist med overvældende teknik og lidenskab.”
AllMusic

Blues Heaven Festivalen er glade for at kunne annoncere årets hovednavn Ronnie Baker Brooks. En blændende guitarist, en innovativ, grænsesøgende sangskriver og en intenst sjælfuld vokalist. En live-performer hvis energi og enorme, publikumsvenlige personlighed holder sine fans i sin hule hånd.

Ronnie Baker Brooks er søn af den afdøde stjerne, Lonnie Brooks (som bl.a i 1980’erne udgav syv albums på Alligator Records) Ronnie Baker Brook (RBB)  betragtes af blueskendere verden over som “Kronprinsen af Chicago Blues” og artager efter Buddy Guy, den 87-årige legende, som i år er rundt på sin afskedsturne “DAMN RIGHT FAREWELL TOUR.” (Hvilket han også var i 2018, da han gæstede Blues Heaven)

RBB er den artist flest publikummer har efterspurt tilbage til Blues Heaven, hvilket betyder at igennem festivalens 18-årige historie er han den eneste artist, der vil ha’ gæstet festivalen i Frederikshavn hele (4) fire gange!

Sidste gang RBB var i Frederikshavn var i 2017, hvor han inviterede den dengang 12-årige engelske guitarist-fænonem Toby Lee op på scenen. I den forbindelse var der flere optagelser, men specielt en optagelse af den norske fotograf Roald Jungård væltede internettet. Nu har filmen fra festivalen med RBB og Toby blevet set en kvart milliard (250.000.000) gange! Bare fra Jungår’s FB profil er optagelsen delt over 3 millioner (3.100.000) gange, og er blevet kommenteret over 220.000 gange.

RBB har netop signeret en plade kontrakt med Alligator Records og i den forbindelse siger han “Jeg voksede op med at spille med min far, Lonnie Brooks – studere og lære af kollegaerne og blueslegenderne. Jeg så også på Alligator skabte en platform for blueskunstnere som min far. Det inspirerede mig til at starte mit eget pladeselskab, Watchdog Records. Nu føles det at slå sig sammen med Alligator som at komme hjem. Jeg er spændt på at fortsætte med at skabe Chicago blues som en del af min familiearv og vores fælles historie.”

Alligator Records præsident og grundlægger Bruce Iglauer er lige så begejstret. “Enhver, der har set Ronnie Baker Brooks i liveoptræden, ved, hvilken spændende bluesmusiker han er. Han er en fyrig, verdensklasse guitarist, en straight-from-the-shoulder sanger og han skriver mindeværdige originale sange. Han bringer kraften og tilstedeværelsen fra sine mentorer – Luther Allison, Albert Collins og mest af alt sin far, Lonnie Brooks – til scenen.”

RBB dannede sit eget pladeselskab, Watchdog Records, i 1998 og udgav tre soloalbum i løbet af de næste otte år: »Golddigger « i 1998, »Take Me Witcha« i 2001 og »The Torch« i 2006. Hans seneste album, »Times Have Changed« fra 2017, blev produceret af trommeslager Steve Jordan (Rolling Stones, Robert Cray) og udgivet på Provogue-selskabet.

RBB blev født i 1967 i Chicago og spillede først guitar med sin berømte far på scenen i en alder af ni. Efter at have sluttet sig til sin fars band på fuld tid efter at have afsluttet gymnasiet, debuterede Ronnie på Lonnie Brooks albummet »Live From Chicago: Bayou Lightning Strikes« i 1988.

I 1991 kom han på landevejen som en del af The Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Tour band, hvor han bl.a. spillede med faderen Lonnie, men også Koko Taylor, Elvin Bishop og Katie Webster.

Ronnie optrådte med sin far i 12 år, fik værdifuld erfaring og delte scener med sådanne notabiliteter som Eric Clapton, B.B. King og Buddy Guy, blandt mange andre.

Siden han var teenager, har Ronnie Baker Brooks turneret verden rundt, først med sin far og derefter ledet sit eget band, og har tjent sit ry som en rødglødende live performer. Han betragtes som en af de bedste kunstnere på bluesscenen og spiller festivaler og koncertsale i hele USA og i hele Europa.

Ronnie Baker Brooks - Toby Lee 2017

🇬🇧 ENGLISH 🇬🇧

Press release from the latest CD  »Times Have Changed« 2017
On the first day of recording Times Have Changed – the eleven-track album from Chicago bluesman Ronnie Baker Brooks that brings a sound so big it could topple a Louisiana juke joint – industry-revered album producer and drummer Steve Jordan told Brooks to put his pedal board back in the van. For the first time in his professional life, Brooks, the son of Texas and Chicago blues legend Lonnie “Guitar Jr.” Brooks, would plug a Gibson into a TKTK amp and rip it straight from there.

“Back to the basics. The pedals get in the way of your tone – your natural tone. Any distortion I had came straight out of the amp,” Brooks remembers from the Times sessions. “It was almost like going to college or grad school. It was an education.”

Brooks, 49, likes to treat each album he makes as a platform for him to grow, but the reality is that he’s been climbing the blues world’s latter all his life. He was born in Chicago and started playing guitar around age six. At 19, he joined his father, who had influenced some of the most well-known bluesmen of our history: Jimmy Reed, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter, and Junior Wells. For 12 years, the two would tour together, putting Ronnie out front with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor. In 1998, when he was 32, his father told him to go solo.

By then, Baker already had a band, one he’d been touring on the side with since 1992. But by 1998, he’d started a label; that year, he made his first album, Golddigger, with 16 songs tracked out in two weeks. “My dad always said to keep writing, even if you don’t think the song sounds great or you can’t finish it,” says Baker. “Write. Continue to write. The more you write, the better you get.” Take Me Witcha came three years later, his second album on Watchdog Records. Brooks broke out as his champion on 2006’s The Torch. The Boston Herald called it “ferocious and unrelenting … the year’s best blues album.”

In the ten years since The Torch, Brooks has started a family, toured North America and Europe, and taken feature spots on the records of other bluesmen. He produced Eddy Clearwater’s West Side Strut and contributed guitar work to albums from Elvin Bishop, the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Review, Billy Branch, and Big Head Todd.

Times Have Changed, Brooks’ first album in ten years, carries with it the weight of grown perspective and time spent perfecting old material. Brooks worked with Steve Jordan, whose work runs from Keith Richard to Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, and Eric Clapton. With that comes a lesson in rhythm and blues history. Brooks refers to the director as “a walking encyclopedia of music detail and equipment,” a professor through which Brooks could take that next developmental step. “Once we got the ball rolling, my confidence went higher and higher,” he says. “I’m a better musician for this experience.”

The experience Brooks is talking about is that which came together over a few weeks at Royal Studios in Memphis, the home of Al Green, Syl Johnson, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and O.V. Wright, whose 1974 hit “Blind, Crippled, and Crazy” gets a facelift on Times Have Changed. Jordan and Brooks brought in a mint press of Memphis music royalty: Stax Records staple Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave), Archie Turner (Al Green, Syl Johnson, O.V. Wright), jazz saxophonist Lannie McMillan, and R&B icon Angie Stone.

“We used the same mics that Al Green used on his record,” says Brooks. “We were using much of the same band! It took that vibe.” The first track recorded was a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly hit “Give Me Your Love.” The second, “Twine Time,” is the instrumental jam from Alvin Cash.

“To be honest with you, when Steve said ‘Man, we need an instrumental,’ the first person I thought of was Freddie King. Steve wanted something more appealing to all people, not just guitar players. He said ‘What about ‘Twine Time?’’ I said, ‘Is he serious?’ Yeah, ‘Twine Time.’ But that song was a key to this album.Man, that just lit the fire for this record. It became one of the funnest tracks we did.”

Times also comes laden with original hits. Five of the eleven tracks were penned by Brooks. Raised on others’ music, he’s always considered the songwriting process to be as sacred. “It’s like having a baby,” he says. “You see it come to live. Once you play it live, it grows even more. That was the most fun part of it, for me: the creative side. Coming up with a song people can relate to, and you relate to, it just snowballs. It’s almost like therapy for me. Like the song ‘Times Have Changed’: I wrote that song years ago. I sent Steve my songs and he picked that one. It’s kind of timeless. Every day something’s changing. Now, when I play it live, you can see the effect of it. Initially, it was just an idea: just a riff. Now, this song has influence on people. We were just in Europe this year, after the bombing in Brussels. And we’re playing Brussels. I played that song; people were in tears. It helped them heal.”

It’s on that title track that Brooks brandishes what may be his finest songwriting talent: the ability to humanize social issues and unite different voices into one cohesive thought. That’s no more evident than in the latter stages of the song, in which Brooks deploys his longtime friend, Memphis’ Al Kapone, to drop 32 bars on what the future holds for our people.

“My whole intention, when I started with Golddigger and up through this one, was to be authentic enough for the older generation but have something that the younger generation could latch onto,” says Brooks. “I try to be that bridge. With Tame Me Witcha, I’ve got a rapper on that. On The Torch we went with Al. He’s a bridge. He’s a bridge from blues to hip-hop. With music, it all comes from the heart. It comes from the heart and from the soul. It blues, it doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, it definitely relates.