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Lonnie Brooks

Having forged a unique Louisiana/Chicago blues synthesis unlike anyone else's on the competitive Windy City scene, charismatic guitarist Lonnie Brooks has long reigned as one of the town's top bluesmen. A masterful showman, the good-natured Brooks puts on a show equal to his recordings (and that's saying a lot, considering there are four decades of wax to choose from).

Born Lee Baker, Jr. in Louisiana, Brooks took his time when choosing his vocation; he didn't play guitar seriously until he was in his early twenties and living in Port Arthur, TX. Rapidly assimilating the licks of B.B. King and Long John Hunter, he landed a gig with zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenier (not a bad way to break into the business) before inaugurating his own recording career in 1957 with the influential swamp pop ballad "Family Rules" for Eddie Shuler's Lake Charles, LA-based Goldband Records. The young rock & roller -- then billed as Guitar Junior -- enjoyed more regional success on Goldband with the rocking dance number "The Crawl" (covered much later by the Fabulous Thunderbirds). Mercury also issued two 45s by Guitar Junior.

When Sam Cooke offered the young rocker a chance to accompany him to Chicago, he gladly accepted. But two problems faced him once he arrived: there was another Guitar Junior in town (precipitating the birth of Lonnie Brooks), and the bayou blues that so enthralled Gulf Coast crowds didn't cut it up north. Scattered session work (he played on Jimmy Reed's Vee-Jay classic "Big Boss Man") and a series of R&B-oriented 45s for Midas, USA, Chirrup, and Chess ensued during the '60s, as Brooks learned a new style of blues. The Guitar Junior sobriquet was briefly dusted off in 1969 for his Capitol album debut, Broke & Hungry, but its lack of success buried the alias for good.

By the late '70s, Brooks was gaining a deserved reputation as an exceptionally dynamic Chicago bluesman with a fresh perspective. He cut four outstanding sides for Alligator's first batch of Living Chicago Blues anthologies in 1978 that quickly led to his own Aligator debut LP, Bayou Lightning, the next year. Five more albums of his own for the firm and extensive touring cemented Brooks' standing as a Chicago blues giant. Son Ronnie Baker Brooks is a chip off the proverbial block, playing rhythm guitar in his old man's band and duetting on "Like Father, Like Son" on Lonnie's 1991 album Satisfaction Guaranteed. Brooks long association with Alligator Records continued into the late '90s with the release of Roadhouse Rules in 1996, which focused more on R&B than down-home blues, and Lone Star Shootout in 1999. The disc featured Brooks with fellow guitar slingers Long John Hunter and Phillip Walker playing together and solo in varied combinations of bluespower. ~ Bill Dahl & Al Campbell
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Deluxe Edition

1. Jealous Man

2. Something You Got

3. Temporary Insanity

4. End Of The Rope

9. Figurehead

11. Cold Lonely Nights

12. Zydeco

13. Family Rules

14. Roll Of The Tumbling Dice

15. Like Father, Like Son

x

Track List: Roadhouse Rules

1. Hoodoo She Do

2. Backbone Man

3. Too Little Too Late

4. Stranger In My House

5. I Need A Friend

6. Evil Twin

7. Roll Of The Tumbling Dice

8. One Track Train

9. Before You Go

10. Get Through To You

11. It's Your World

12. Treat Me Like Your Dog

13. Stake My Claim

14. Rockin' Red Rooster

x

Track List: Satisfaction Guaranteed

1. Temporary Insanity

2. A Man's Got To To What A Man's Got To Do

3. Feast Or Famine

4. It's Lying Time Again

5. A Little Rock And Roll And Some Country Blues

6. Wife For Tonight

7. Family Curse

8. Horoscope

9. Like Father, Like Son

10. Holding On To The Memories

11. Accident

12. If The Price Is Right

x

Track List: Wound Up Tight

1. Got Lucky Last Night

2. Jealous Man

3. Belly Rubbin' Music

4. Bewitched

5. End Of The Rope

6. Wound Up Tight

7. Boomerang

8. Musta' Been Dreamin'

9. Skid Row

10. Hush Mouth Money

x

Track List: Hot Shot

1. Don't Take Advantage Of Me

2. Wrong Number

3. Messed Up Again

4. Family Rules

5. Back Trail

6. I Want All My Money Back

7. Mr. Hot Shot

8. Brand New Mojo Hand

9. Mr. Somebody

10. One More Shot

x

Track List: Turn On The Night

1. Eyeballin'

2. Inflation

3. Teenage Boogie Man

4. Heavy Traffic

5. I'll Take Care Of You

6. Tv Mama

7. Mother Nature

8. Don't Go To Sleep On Me

9. Something You Got

10. Zydeco

x

Track List: Bayou Lightning

1. Voodoo Daddy

2. Figurehead

3. Watch Dog

4. Breakfast In Bed

5. In The Dark

6. Worked Up Woman

7. Alimony

8. Watch What You Got

9. I Ain't Superstitious

10. You Know What My Body Needs

x

Track List: Let's Talk It Over

1. Let's Talk It Over

2. Hard Gamblin' Woman

3. Why Do Things Have To Change

4. Crash Head On Into Love

5. If You Want Me To Love You

6. Hideaway

7. Reconsider Baby

8. Greasy Man

x

Track List: Sweet Home Chicago

x

Track List: Live From Chicago - Bayou Lightning Strikes

1. Two Headed Man

2. Trading Post

3. In The Dark

4. Got Me By The Tail

5. One More Shot

6. Born With The Blues

7. Eyeballin'

8. Cold Lonely Nights

9. Hideaway

10. You Know What My Body Needs

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Feel good blues ; just sweet
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carolbeelynx
Nice
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Down home Chicago blues let's hear some more I miss that.☺
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anitare
Bad to the bone!! Never heard him but am definitely getting his C'D's!!!
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When Tom Goblin play keyboards for him it was awesome. The "G" man tore it up on his Lesley! Hope your doing well old buddy!
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Another unsung hero of the best of the genre we fondly have all come to love and call the blues!!
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The rey
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He inspired my Inspiration! Stevie Ray & Lonnie throw it down for God, now.
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Ohh Damnit! Hootie!!!��✌
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boogiespeed
heavy man, heavy ............
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dan.nivinski
Organized Lonnie's "Blues Picnic" in Rockford for many years. He was a sincere and good man who felt what he played. God Bless him.
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Sounds good
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sitting under the shade tree with a few friends talking smack kind of blues
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Real Chicago blues ya baby
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Awesome....
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First saw Lonnie on Eugene or at the good times with his son Ronnie early 90's then again late 90's Waupaca with Indian crossing casiNO
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look like someone's got the blues
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yup
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yessir
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coreystreet1 9 6 9 same here but it depends on the guitar player
Report as inappropriate
Love his guitar playing and singing,l just love the Blues period.
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OG Lonnie Brooks~
With Bluzzz like this somebody is going to get hurt bad. OUCHZZZ~978 ~ 3M 14Y
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sweet ...he can play that is for sure .........
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No
Report as inappropriate
Soooooooo damn low DOWN!
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so miss him! such a great artist!!
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THIS IS TRUE DOWN HOME MISSISSIPPI blues,,,,,
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Now this is one bad-a** Blues guitar playing and singing MAN!
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Break it off easy and often
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Just bad azz
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Got Lucky Last Night
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ib_sneaky_12
Wow...what a fabulous song and artist Lonnie Brooks...I love, love, love him.
Report as inappropriate
dbird9324
had some good times with ya at fitzgeralds! s t i l l smoke those WINSTONS
Report as inappropriate
The Halsted St. Pub Crawl .. always ended up with Lonnie
Report as inappropriate
another artist that has graced the chuicago blues scene, lonnie is goood

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