As the son of blues legend Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks has been climbing the blues world’s ladder all his life. Born in Chicago, he started playing guitar around age six. At 19, he joined his father, who 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. In 1998, when he was 32, his father told him to go solo.
Baker already had a band by then, one with which he’d been touring on the side since 1992. By 1998 he’d started a label. That same year he made his first album, Golddigger, recording 16 songs in two weeks. “My dad always said to keep writing, even if you don’t think the song sounds great or you can’t finish it,” says Baker. “Write. Continue to write. The more you write, the better you get.” In 2017 he released Times Have Changed, an album that carries with it the weight of grown perspective and time spent perfecting old material.