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LIVE REVIEW -- Ronnie Baker Brooks



Buddy Guy’s Legends

 Chicago, IL

November 29, 2008


By Karen Brault


Ronnie Baker Brooks’ November 29th performance at Buddy Guy’s Legends was a prime example of why Chicago is world famous for the blues.


Playing to a packed house that was standing room only, Ronnie delivered a night of explosive blues that shook the city. This was Ronnie’s first performance back in the Windy City since playing the Chicago Blues Festival last summer. Showing his appreciation of being back in Chicago, Ronnie thrilled the home-town audience members with surprise superstar guests -- Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland and Ronnie’s father Lonnie Brooks.

 lonnie and ronnie brooks

Opening for Ronnie’s incredible night was Stan Skibby. Known for his mastery of Hendrix tunes and playing left-handed (one of Hendrix’s traits) Skibby skillfully laid down songs that mirrored Hendrix’s sounds and techniques.  Though not all of Skibby’s songs were actual Hendrix tunes, he beautifully blended songs such as “Purple Rain” and “Born Under A Bad Sign” into his impressive show mix.


Ronnie’s spotlight performance kicked off with a cool instrumental piece performed by his band. With a smile as big as his name, the charismatic guitarist greeted the crowd with his easy mannerisms and infectious personality as he played his magic to the crowd.


 Ronnie delivered a full night of heavy- hitting blues and played songs from his CDs that included “Love Again” off of his CD Take Me Witcha and “Other Side of Love” from the Torch CD.  He included “I’m Gonna Do Something Baby” from Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater’s CD West Side Strut (produced by Ronnie) and thrilled fans with his up-close-and-personal performance stroll through the audience, a trait well-known from his famous dad Lonnie.


The highlight of the evening was Ronnie’s very special guests.  Joining Ronnie on stage (with no introduction needed) was the legendary Buddy Guy. Taking the mic to the cheer of the crowd, Buddy sang the infamous blues classic “She’s 19 Years Old.”


With a broad smile, Ronnie beamed as he welcomed his dad  to the stage.  Lonnie took a guitar in hand and played some sweet laid-back guitars riffs to the delight of his son and the cheering crowd. Answering his dad’s cue, Ronnie took over with a great rendition of “I Got a Woman.”


Also in this special line up was singer Shemekia Copeland who joined Ronnie on stage for several songs that included a duet of “Rock Me” and “I Just Want To Make Love To You.” (Blues fans take note: Shemekia has a new CD coming Feb. 24, which also happens to be Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday).


Closing out this super-charged night of great Chicago blues, Ronnie ended his show with a searing rendition of “Tush.”


 Thanks to Karen for contributing her photos of the show.



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