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Ronnie Baker Brooks

Saturday, January 31, at the Grand Emporium.

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You have to think that the moment when the son of a bluesman finally slinks up to his mother and whispers, "Momma, I've decided to live the blues life, just like my daddy did" isn't a joyful one for a mother. Still, Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of Lonnie Brooks, the most smiling blues guitarist ever, has joined Luther Allison's son, Bernard, Muddy Waters' son, Big Bill Morganfield, and a crowd of other next-generation blues artists. Brooks made his debut with his father on his ninth birthday, jammin' on "Messin' With Kid" and "Reconsider, Baby" (perhaps his dad's subliminal message about a rugged career choice). Lonnie has to be a proud papa, because after thirteen years leading his daddy's band, Ronnie has developed his own guitar style (think Brooks Sr., then go funky Hendrix) and his own songwriting repertoire. Brooks Jr. has paid enough blues dues to have been nominated last year for the Best Blues Entertainer award in Chicago. That just might be enough to dry a few of his mother's tears.

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