has been writing, recording and touring for nearly six decades. He learned to play in his native Louisiana, and then on his journey north he cut a string of Gulf Coast hits including “Family Rules,’’ “The Crawl,’’ and “Roll, Roll, Roll.’’ Once he landed in Chicago, his home for more than 50 years, he hooked up with Alligator Records and released “Two Headed Man,’’ which quickly became famous for the “Voodoo Blues’’ sound that is now his trademark. Even more ground-breaking of his 15 total records is his Grammy-nominated album “Bayou Lightning.’’ He’s appeared on television shows ranging from “Hee Haw’’ to “The Late Show with David Letterman.’’ And he’s been on the silver screen, most recently in “The Express’’ starring Dennis Quaid and also in “Blues Brothers 2000’’ with Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman. But he is perhaps best known for his showmanship at his live shows, at one-time playing upwards of 300 dates a year at everywhere from the San Francisco Blues Fest to the Montreux Jazz Festival to Holland’s the North Sea Jazz Fest. He’s been Eric Clapton’s onstage guest at Buddy Guy’s Legends club in Chicago and will play for tens of thousands as the headliner – his fifth time -- at the Chicago Blues Fest this June.
Ronnie Baker Brooksfirst picked up a guitar as a toddler, played on stage at the age of 9, and joined his dad’s band right out of high school. So when he released his debut album, “Golddigger,’’ in 1998, much of the blues world was already familiar with his immense talents. But Golddigger showed he was a force on his own, earning a WC Handy Award nomination for Best New Blues Artist. He hasn’t looked back, and now the Ronnie Baker Brooks Blues band headlines shows around the country and world. After his third release, “The Torch,’’ Ronnie noted how he is moving blues into the future. “I grew up among the best of the best,’’ Ronnie says. “Every time I play, I feel like I’ve got to do it with the authenticity and passion that I saw in guys like Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and my father. But I also have to put my twist on it. None of those guys repeated what came before them.’’ Brooks’ twist involves enlivening blues-rock with deep soul and funk rhythms. Working with Minneapolis producer Jellybean Johnson, a veteran collaborator of Prince and Janet Jackson, Brooks takes roots sounds and transforms them into something that spans the ages.
Wayne Baker Brookslatest single release is “Something’s Going Down,” featuring two-time platinum selling artist Twista, GLC and Blues legend Sugar Blue. The genre-busting track combines heavy Chicago Blues, Rock, Soul and Rap/Hip-Hop. Wayne has been blazing trails since the release in 2004 of the top-rated album, “Mystery,’’ which received five awards from Real Blues magazine, a four-star review in the All Music Guide and many other accolades. He has headlined clubs and festivals worldwide and also hosted All-Star Blues Bash concerts featuring some of the biggest names in the business, including Pinetop Perkins, Elvin Bishop, Big Head Todd, Shannon Curfman and Chris Thomas King. In 1999 he performed for then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation at Chess Studios in Chicago with special guests Bo Diddley, KoKo Taylor and Lonnie Brooks while Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry looked on. In 2005, he got top billing on the live broadcast of WXRT’s “Chicago Blues Fest Brunch” at Legends during which he was given the “rare Buddy Guy seal of approval,’’ host Tom Marker noted. Wayne performed at the 2003 MLB All Star Game and also appeared in “The Express’’ and “Blues Brothers 2000.’’ He is a co-author of Blues for Dummies with his father and Cub Koda — a book former President Bill Clinton said he “absolutely loved.’’