Each Friday RONNIE BAKER BROOKS can be seen live from his “Brooks Blues Basement” at 8pm sharp. “I started about a week after my last live gig last March,” says Baker Brooks. “My response to the pandemic was to keep playing. My first few streams I’d go 2-3 hours. I’m down to an hour and a half and judging from the feedback, people want me to continue. Some have even told me that they plan their evening around it.”

A by-product of the regular schedule has been motivation to explore. “I want to give my watchers fresh material. I’d never played my dad Lonnie Brooks’ songs by myself, only with him. But since I can’t play it like him, I’ve reinterpreted them through his spirit. In addition, I’ve been inspired to write original songs informed by our current situation. These will be released on an upcoming cd.”

Having lost a cousin to the pandemic, Ronnie is heartfelt about dedicating his broadcasts to those who have lost loved ones to COVID.

“Please express my sincere love to all those who mourn their loved ones. I know how it feels.” 


Photo taken at an all star benefit, House of Blues, 2018.

– Peter M. Hurley 

Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with the Chess Studios’ sound of Bo Diddley and continues to this day.