Ronnie Baker Brooks – The Times Have Changed (Provogue)

Genre – Blues rock

After ten years in the blues rock wilderness, Ronnie Baker Brooks is back with a full length release – The Times Have Changed.

It may have ten years, but boy does this blues man sound refreshed with the guidance of Steve Jordan, who’s worked with the likes of Richards and Clapton over the years.

Ronnie admitted that this album sees him bring the weight of grown perspective to the table, as well as a number of old songs that he’s spent years perfecting.

This includes a cover of the legendary Curtis Mayfield’s Give Me Your Love. Baker Brooks has breathed fresh life into the track, as he’s done with many more on the album, including an instrumental of Twine Time, featuring Freddie King. He’s upped the tempo of Give Me Your Love and put his own spin on it to make for an uplifting blues number filled with soul.

The upbeat vibe of the album is there from the off, with Show Me incorporating a mix of blues guitar with keys, sax, trombone and drums that marry exquisitely with his vocals to create a dancey rock number that’s dripping in funk soul.

Doing Too Much is another feet mover, but in more of a traditional blues sense. There’s plenty of room for Ronnie to play around with the bottom strings and his deep Chicago vocals are let loose.

The album’s title track is heavier. It’s the kind of track you’ll hear in smoky blues clubs far and wide. It’s a story. The same story your parents and grandparents will tell you – you can’t leave your door unlocked anymore, the rich keep getting richer..

This track is much more than a relatable socio-political commentary though. It’s a harmonised blues track featuring rapper Al Kapone, who adds a modern twist to this classic blues number. So modern in fact that he even manages to fit in a YOLO!

From start to finish, The Times Have Changed is packed with quality. From the happy uplifting vocals of Long Story Short, to the intimate whispers of Give Me Your Love, Ronnie has the ability to set you free and take your cares away, before slowly reining you back in and having a private word in your ear.

RUSHONROCK RATED – 9/10 I got, I got, I got the blues!