As the son of legendary Chicago blues guitarist Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks carries on the family tradition — one that's also kept alive by his brother Wayne Baker Brooks. Ronnie picked up the guitar early and wound up playing bass in his father's touring band, but he didn't launch a solo recording career until 1998, when he released Golddigger just after his 30th birthday.
Brooks was born Rodney Dion Baker in Chicago, Illinois on January 23, 1967. He made his first on-stage appearance with his father Lonnie at the age of nine, but he stayed in school, graduating from Hales Franciscan High School in 1985. The next year, Ronnie joined Lonnie's band playing bass, but moved to guitar by the time of the 1988 live album Live from Chicago: Bayou Lightning Strikes.
Over the next ten years, Brooks toured regularly — usually with his father Lonnie and other Alligator artists — and he transitioned to a headliner in 1992 when he appeared in place of his ailing father at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Six years later came the 1998 release of Golddigger. It was the first of three albums Brooks released on Watchdog Records, and was followed by Take Me Witcha in 2001 and The Torch in 2006. Over the next decade, he continued to tour and play in his hometown of Chicago; he also produced Eddy Clearwater's 2008 album West Side Strut and co-wrote songs with Chris Beard for the singer's 2010 album Who Am I and What I Do. Brooks worked with producer Steve Jordan for the soul-infused 2017 album Times Have Changed, his first album in 11 years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine