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Remembering Lonnie Brooks

"Legendary Chicago blues musician Lonnie Brooks, who started out as a banjo-picking lad in Louisiana decades before breathing new life into the tune 'Sweet Home Chicago,' died Saturday at 83," the Sun-Times reports.

"Brooks pondered his legacy in a story that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times in 1993:

"I'll be on the totem pole, with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, Little Walter, many others I can't name . . . I'll probably be on the last spot."


From the Tribune:

"I would see guys like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker for $1, and I always wondered how they got all that soul into their playing," Brooks told the Tribune in 1992.

"Then one night, I saw Magic Sam in a little blues club on the South Side. He went on stage right after he'd gotten into a big fight with his girlfriend, and it was like he was taking it out on his guitar. I seen how it came from the heart, so I went home to the basement, and got into that mood that Magic Sam had been in, and the blues came to me."


From Ultimate Classic Rock:

"The late '70s proved a turning point for Brooks, who subsequently found himself in demand among blues enthusiasts around the world. Later years saw him rubbing shoulders with famous fans and musical disciples such as Johnny Winter (who made an appearance on Brooks' Wound Up Tight LP in 1986) and Eric Clapton, who invited Brooks to perform during a stop on his From the Cradle tour in 1993.

"While his recorded output slowed in later years, Brooks remained a fiery stage presence, notorious for a playing style that often saw him using his mouth as well as his hands. As he settled into statesman status, Brooks brought his sons Ronnie and Wayne into his band, dubbing their combo the Brooks Family Blues Dynasty."


An all-too brief sampling of Mr. Brooks' work.

1. You Put It On Me.


2. You're Usin' Me.


3. Born With The Blues.


4. Mr. Somebody.


5. Don't Take Advantage Of Me.


Comments welcome.


Posted on April 5, 2017

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