Friday, March 19, 2010
Lonnie BROOKS - Chicago Blues Festival 1996
Recorded Live at The Chicago Blues Festival,
Grant Park, Chicago, IL. May 31, 1996
The 13th Chicago Blues Festival "I Ain't Superstitious, Black Cat Cross My Trail" celebrated history and tradition while introducing listeners to the next generation of blues artists. Tributes this year included remembrances of Reverend Gary Davis, Reverend Robert Wilkins and Howlin' Wolf, and a salute to Alligator Records' 25th Anniversary. At the same time, three very talented young acoustic bluesmen Corey Harris, Alvin "Youngblood" Hart and Guy Davis gave blues fans some inkling of where the music is headed.
The 13th Chicago Blues Festival celebrated its 13th-ness honoring traditional spirituality while laughing in the face of superstition. Afro-Cuban musicians Armando Sanchez y Conjunto Son de la Loma rejoiced in the power of Santeria. Screamin' Jay Hawkins brought peals of laughter through his absurd mixture of self-parody and riotous rock and roll.
Lonnie Brooks, ageless and consistent, closed day one of the festival on a high note with a powerful set of mostly original material, including a song from his new Alligator album to be released in July. More energetic now than he was a decade ago, Brooks and band powered through Wife For Tonight and A Man's Got To Do What A Man's Got To Do before closing with Sweet Home Chicago. Brooks gave his son Ronnie plenty of solo space throughout the set; the respect and affection between the two is obvious. At one point, the elder Brooks walked across the stage to where the younger man was firing off some SRV-like pyrotechnics and started playing rhythm figures on the bass strings of Ronnie's guitar as he continued to solo!
Lee Baker, Jr., also known as legendary blues singer and guitarist Lonnie Brooks, was born in Dubuisson, Louisiana on December 18, 1933 to Lillian Baker, a housewife, and Baker, Sr., a cotton field laborer. His grandfather, "Joe the Banjo," was a circus strongman, musician and craftsman, and Brooks' interest in music was fostered early on from him. Brooks left school after completing the eighth grade, and went to live with his father. In 1950, Brooks left Dubuisson for southern Louisiana, got married and relocated to Port Arthur, Texas.
While in Port Arthur, Brooks was approached by one of his musical heroes, Clifton Chenier, about performing with him. Brooks played everything from Zydeco and rock and roll to jazz and country, performing under the name of "Guitar Junior." In 1959, Brooks joined up with Sam Cooke on a caravan tour of the south, and then hitched a ride to Chicago where he moved in with Cooke's mother and brother. By the early 1960s, Brooks dropped the "Guitar Junior" name in favor of his current moniker, performed with Jimmy Reed and incorporated the sounds of Chicago in his performance. During the 1960s and 1970s, Brooks worked in a number of tough Chicago clubs, playing cover songs for underworld gangsters.
Brooks' big break came in 1978 when he recorded four songs on Alligator Records' Living Chicago Blues anthology. The following year, Brooks released the album Bayou Lightning, which garnered him a Grand Prix Award, causing him to explode onto the blues scene. His distinctive sound, forged from a combination of Chicago blues, R & B, country and Cajun boogie, came to be known as the "voodoo blues." Brooks developed a loyal following when he released his Grammy nominated Bayou Lightning Strikes: Live from Chicago, and since then, there have been several successful albums.
Brooks performed at the San Francisco Blues Fest and the Montreux Jazz Festival. With television appearances on Hee-Haw and Late Night with David Letterman, Brooks has teamed up with Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman in the Blues Brothers 2000. He also co-authored Blues for Dummies and headlined the 1996 Chicago Blues Fest. Brooks is also often found performing with his two guitar-playing sons, Ronnie and Wayne.
Lonnie Brooks- Guitar & Vocals
Tom Giblin- Keyboards
Dave Miller- Bass
Patrick Doody- Drums
Ronnie Baker Brooks- Guitar
Wayne Baker Brooks- Guitar
01. Don't Answer That Door (7:00)
02. Eyeballin' (4:44)
03. Wife for Tonight (7:56)
04. Watch Dog (7:10)
05. It's Your World (6:32)
06. Don't Take Advantage of Me (5:00)
07. I Want All My Money Back (7:35)
08. Sweet Home Chicago (8:24)