Ronnie Baker Brooks announces release of ‘Times Have Changed’, his first album in 10 years. Out on Provogue/Mascot Label Group on 20 January 2017.
Brooks, 49, was born in Chicago and started playing the guitar age about six. At 19, he joined his father, Lonnie Brooks who by then had influenced some of the most well-known bluesman of our history: Jimmy Reed, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter, and Junior Wells. For 12 years the two would tour together, putting Ronnie out front with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor.
It’s on that title track that Brooks brandishes what may be his finest songwriting talent: the ability to humanise social issues and unite different voices into one cohesive thought. That’s no more evident than in the latter stages of the song, in which Brooks deploys his longtime friend, Memphis’ Al Kapone, to drop 32 bars on what the future holds for our people.
“My whole intention, when I started with Golddigger (his 1998 debut album) and up through this one, was to be authentic enough for the older generation but have something that the younger generation could latch onto,” says Brooks. “I try to be that bridge. With Take Me Witcha (2001), I’ve got a rapper on that. On The Torch (2006) we went with Al Kapone. He’s a bridge. He’s a bridge from blues to hip-hop. With music, it all comes from the heart. It comes from the heart and from the soul. In blues, it doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, it definitely relates. “That was my intention on this record: to build that bridge.”
Listen to ‘Doing Too Much’ (feat. “Big Head” Todd Mohr) here:
Produced by: Steve Jordan
Featuring: Lonnie Brooks, “Big Head” Todd Mohr, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, Steve Cropper
Angie Stone, Eddie Willis, Al Kapone, Felix Cavaliere and Lee Roy Parnell.