20 January 2017 (released)
30 December 2016
Son of Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie had 12 years on the road playing with the biggest names in Blues before striking out on his own and since then he has had album after album of his own to build a great reputation but he went quiet around 10 years back and this is his first in all that time – well worth the wait, it is magnificent.
Brooks has a voice from the old skool – rounded and warm soul voice with a great sense of melody and just bringing you into his style of singing.
He recorded the album in Memphis, in the same studio that Al Green recorded his masterpieces and with the same mics so it is no surprise that the recording has capotured a wonderful sense of musicality.
Of the eleven tracks here 5 are originals and the rest are covers but not the usual Blues covers – Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Give Me Your Love (Love Song) for instance or a belting version of ‘Show Me’ featuring Steve Cropper. Father Lonnie guests on ‘Twine Time’ (the only instrumental) and there is a super sense of a bunch of musicians just kicking out and having fun on the track that sort of sets the tone for the whole album.
He is joined by a massive array of big names including rapper Al Kapone on the title track, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland on ‘Old Love’, Felix Cavaliere and Lee Roy Parnell but the pervading sense is of his voice and that wonderful sense of timing and pace.
The title track is dark and emotive, giving vent to the career he has followed and looking at the world from the eyes of a veteran but bringing Al Kapone in to rap on the track brings it right into a modern place. ‘Doing Too Much’ (featuring “Big Head” Todd Mohr) is a gorgeous old style nasty funker.
His version of ‘Give Me Your Love’ features Angie Stone and, again, brings a great song with a seventies feel right into the 21st century.
I felt totally at home with this one from the first notes to the last but there are gems and little joys hidden all through it – on the twentieth listen I still found myself thinking “Wow, where did that come from?”
I love the fact that is is so comfortable but still so alive and so soulful.
Definitely the best thing I’ve heard in ages and worth keeping on the decks for ages.