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Ronnie Baker Brooks 

Thursday, January 15, at Fat Fish Blue.

From the sound of things, there was no generation gap in Lonnie Brooks's household. When his son, also Ronnie, began dosing his blues guitar with big tastes of high-energy rock and R&B, it was just an update of an old family recipe. Brooks the elder began mixing these styles in the late '50s on regional records back in Louisiana and kept it up through the '60s, as his blues rep grew in Chicago. The younger Brooks picked up on blues-bar standards courtesy of Dad and took an undeniable Hendrix hit that lies at the core of his aggressive, explosive playing style. One might guess that Stevie Ray's mark would come next, but Ronnie sounds more like a kindred spirit of SRV than a follower.

Joining his father's band as his set opener in 1986, Ronnie made his recording debut on Lonnie's 1988 release Live From Chicago. He first fronted the band in earnest when he subbed for his under-the-weather dad at the 1992 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. After several more appearances on disc with Lonnie, Ronnie released his first solo set on his own Watchdog label in 1998. His most recent, 2001's Take Me Witcha, is a relentless affair, very big on powerhouse blues rock.

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