Ronnie Baker Brooks: Times Have Changed Review

Ronnie Baker Brooks has spent the last 43 years working his fingers to their raw hide. A Chicago native, Brooks started playing guitar at 6, and while Times Have Changed is his first album in ten years it’s easy to say he’s still got it. The album was produced by Steve Jordan and features his father Lonnie Brooks, “Big Head” Todd Mohr, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, Angie Stone, Eddie Willis, Al Kapone, Felix Cavaliere and Lee Roy Parnell as well as Steve ‘the Colonel’ Cropper, as in founding member of the Blues Brothers Steve Cropper.

The album starts off with “Show Me,” which is as old school a Chicago blues song as you can get featuring horns, a great walking bass line, twang in all the right places and to top it all off Brooks classic blues sounding vocals. But if you think Brooks is just here to remind us all of what Chicago blues are supposed to sound like, think again. The album starts off classic and continues with “Doing Too Much.” The first curve ball we get is “Twine Time,” which forgoes Brooks’ velvet voice and provides us with a largely instrumental piece. Things get truly progressive with “Times Have Changed,” which starts off with the classic blues sound, but then breaks into a rap with a smooth refrain.“Long Story Short” brings out the funky side of Brooks while “Give me your Love” makes you want to light some candles and listen wrapped up with your special someone.

“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. If Brooks’ goal is to build a bridge from the old school to the new, he’s certainly succeeded. This record is as solid as the East 95th street Bridge. In other words, this album has got everything.

The Review 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Give the Baby (Anything the Baby Wants)
– Long Story Short
– Twine Time
– Doing Too Much
– Show Me

The Big Hit

– Show Me

Review by Jeremy Schantz

Buy the album: Amazon

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