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Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Reed’

RIP, Lonnie Brooks (April 1, 2017) Chicago Blues Legend

Posted by themusicsover on April 1, 2017

Lonnie Brooks (Born Lee Baker)
December 18, 1933 – April 1, 2017

According to a press release from Alligator Records, Lonnie Brooks passed away on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the age of 83. Cause of death was not immediately released. Over the course of his 60-year career, Brooks recorded 11 full albums and dozens of 45s for a number of labels. His career began in Port Arthur, Texas in the mid-1950s. Recording under the name Guitar Junior, he scored a string of regional hits, including “Family Rules” and “The Crawl” for the Goldband label. The success of his singles led to numerous southern tours and a busy performance schedule that included dancehalls, juke joints and roadhouses across Texas and Louisiana. In 1959, Brooks befriended the great Sam Cooke, who suggested his move to Chicago. Once settled, he changed his name to Lonnie Brooks (Chicago already had a Guitar Junior) and became infatuated with the sound of deep Chicago blues. He soon landed a job as a sideman with blues hitmaker Jimmy Reed, with whom he toured and recorded. Brooks cut a handful of singles throughout the 1960s, while appearing on a number of Chicago blues and R&B recording sessions. He played nightly in the bars on the South and West sides of Chicago and in Gary and East Chicago, Indiana. In 1969, Capitol Records released Brooks’ first album, Broke an’ Hungry, under his old stage name, Guitar Junior.  In 1978, Brooks recorded four songs for Alligator Records’ Grammy-nominated Living Chicago Blues anthology. This led to a full contract with the label. His Alligator debut, Bayou Lightning, was released in 1979. The album, along with Brooks’ roof-raising live performances, brought him to the attention of Rolling Stone, which ran a six-page feature on the legendary musician. The album won the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque Award from the 1980 Montreux Jazz Festival. Constant touring in the U.S. and abroad kept Brooks in the public eye. His scorching 1980 live performance of “Sweet Home Chicago” on the Blues Deluxe album (resulting in Brooks’ second Grammy nomination) is now considered the quintessential version of the song.  His final two releases, 1996’s Roadhouse Rules and 1999’s Lone Star Shootout, showed Brooks at his very best – an electrifying guitarist with full-throated vocals, clever original songs, and a dedication to having fun.   Lonnie’s last recording appearance was as a guest on his son Ronnie Baker Brooks‘ latest album, Times Have Change.

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Died On This Date (April 11, 2011) Lacy Gibson / Respected Chicago Blues Guitarist

Posted by themusicsover on April 11, 2011

Lacy Gibson
May 1, 1936 – April 11, 2011

Lacy Gibson was a gifted Chicago blues guitarist who over a career that spanned six decades came to be known as a musician’s musician thanks in part to his flashy jazz-influenced guitar skills.  He was also revered for his soulful voice. After moving to Chicago from North Carolina in 1949, Gibson immediately immersed himself in the city’s storied blues scene, learning directly from the likes of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.  During the ’60s, he became a popular session player for the local labels, including Chess, where he actually sang on at least one recording by Buddy Guy.  Over the course of his career, Gibson recorded or performed with the likes of Sun Ra (his brother-in-law), Jimmy Reed, Son Seals, and Otis Rush.  He released three of his own albums between 1971 and 1996, and continued to be a mainstay on local stages until his ill health kept him away in recent years.  Lacy Gibson died of a heart attack on April 11, 2011.  He was 74.

Thanks to Joel Oberstein at New Releases Now! for the assist.

 

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Died On This Date (August 29, 1976) Jimmy Reed / Electric Blues Legend

Posted by themusicsover on August 29, 2010

Mathis “Jimmy” Reed
September 6, 1925 – August 29, 1976

Jimmy Reed was an influential electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter during the ’50s and ’60s.  Throughout a career that began with him busking in Mississippi, Reed released several hit records, including “Bright Lights Big City,” “Big Boss Man,” and “You Don’t Have To Go.”  His songs have been covered by such greats as the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and Hank Williams Jr. Unfortunately, Reed’s career quickly to a nosedive due to his heavy alcoholism and bouts with epilepsy.  The fact that his label, Vee-Jay Records, was on its last leg didn’t help either.  This perhaps kept him from attaining legendary status and world fame like many of his contemporaries.  Jimmy Reed was 50 when he passed away on August 29, 1976.

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Jimmy Reed

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