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AMPLIFIED: chicago blues 

 

About the Exhibition

 

 

Southern black migrants brought the blues to Chicago, where the music helped them forge connections and transform an unfamiliar, often inhospitable city into a new home. The music was also transformed—electrified and amplified to compete with urban noise. The photography of Raeburn Flerlage captures the streets, clubs, homes, and studios where a community of musicians defined the Chicago blues sound.  Immerse yourself in the Chicago scene of the 1960s through Flerlage’s images, and experience the blues by playing guitar, designing an album cover, writing lyrics, and singing karaoke to Blues Classics "Got My Mojo Working" Muddy Waters, "Wang Dang Doodle" - KoKo Taylor, and "Sweet Home Chicago" - Wayne Baker Brooks 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIP Chuck Berry! I will take this experience I'm about to share with you everywhere with me in my heart, mind, and soul.. 

RIP Chuck Berry! I will take this experience I'm about to share with you everywhere with me in my heart, mind, and soul.. 

In 1999 I was honored beyond belief to have had my band and I play for the then First Lady of the United States of America Hillary Clinton at Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation/Iconic Chess Records Studios on 2120 S. Michigan Ave. Hillary and her team asked me to ask Bo Diddley, Koko Taylor, my dad Lonnie Brooks, and Chuck Berry to join me for few songs to jam with me on. Shirley Dixon told me to also bring up Billy Branch and Carl Weathersby after them. OK so I went to my dad first didn't have ask just told him let's do All My Money Back he said ok, then went to Koko (my blues momma) and told her Hillary wants her to sing with us she said " Let's do some Wang Dang Doodle" I gave a big smile and said I was hoping you say Wang Dang! I then went to Bo Diddley and said "Hey Bo whatcha know - good? (ppl don't know Bo made me video tape every show of his that i was at in Chicago - loved that dude) so I go.."Hillary and her team want you to come up and jam with me" you want to?" he pulled out his signature guitar and said yeah I brought my guitar with me and then he hit a switch on it and it lit up blinking on and off "Bo Diddley Bo Diddley Bo Diddley" I said man i gotta I get one of those that's the coolest thang I've ever seen..lol of course we didn't even have to say we're gonna do "who do you Love"... 

so now I was to go and ask Chuck Berry...uh oh! I see him sitting by himself while about 100 media ppl are setting up to broadcast this worldwide before the public can come in..I go to him nervous as hell because I didn't really know him at this point except for about one or two shows/festivals we played with him on and in the back of my mind I've heard all the stories about him acting certain ways, even witnessed Buddy Guy in the past at Legends inviting him on stage 3 times with no success till buddy said "damn man do I have to do roll over beethoven or Maybelline to get you up here" still after the very last attempt Chuck just sat there like I ain't doing nothing but chilling right now...thinking about all of that...now I have to ask him what Hillary wanted. I go up to him while he is sitting and I'm standing and go "Hi Mr. Berry I'm Wayne Baker Brooks and I'm the band today and The first Lady and her staff ask if you would like to Jam today with us? He looked up at me and I swear for moment I just knew he'd say "sure son" let's do Jonny B. Goode... right? Wrong, he looks up at me with a serious look on his face and says "speak up son I can't hear you" with his finger on his ear making so he could hear better. So I get even more nervous kinda choked up and paused and thought like damn he gonna chew me up like I've seen Albert King chew other people up..and then did the one thing I just don't do.. if you know me well enough you know I never use the Lonnie Brooks is my dad thing, give me this give me that do this do that for me because i figured I've earn my spot working hard enough that i don't need to right? But guess what? I did it this time out of severe nervousness thinking it will save me ha..lol I said "hi Mr. Berry my name is Wayne Baker Brooks I'M LONNIE BROOKS' SON LOL, I wrote the book Blues for Dummies lol (just released back then), again I'm the band and Hilary and her team wanted to know if you would like to jam with me and my band Bo Diddley is coming up to Jam, Koko Taylor, and my Father too..lol he looked me square in the eyes and said "You got Ten Thousand Dollars in cash?" I said "No Sir Mr. Berry" he then said "Well, there won't be no Jamming with Chuck Berry today"...my heart sank in my stomach but kinda relieved he didnt grill me. So while walking away I said Mr Berry thank you for being here, we really appreciate it hope you enjoy yourself. So of course the event proceeded i did 3 songs of mine and a little walter song. Everyone that I mentioned except Chuck came up to jam and Hilary got up and spoke and exclaimed to the world "my husband is going to be so jealous he missed this"!!! And President Clinton was jealous.. I got a call from the white house after all this...(which is another story I will have to share at another time)..Right after the event everyone stayed for a while and Chuck comes straight up to me and said "Man, if I'd known you played so good like that I would've said hell yeah I'll jam with you"...and laughed!! I said aww man dang and laughed too. But the coolest thing about him not jamming with me was we hung out talking and telling jokes for each other for about a good 45 minutes until he got real serious with me and said "Wayne, you really want to know why I didn't want to jam?" I said yeah why? He then started to tear up and one tear rolled down his cheek and said "man while I was pumping out hit records for these motherfuckas they had me sleeping in the basement of this very building with the fucking rats and roaches, sometimes I had to sleep in my Cadillac to to keep the roaches off me..my eyes watered up a bit not only from the way they treated him, and others, but also because he shared something that was powerful with me candidly. This was something that will stick with me everyday like the stuff my dad would tell us that would be so heartwrenching. I then got it, it clicked, now I understood Chuck Berry, his antics, his rebellious attitude to everyone that did show ultimate respect, his wanting his money before he go on stage. I then had total compassion for him, I already knew the impact this man had on music, he changed the course music forever, music would not be what it is today without him. He also changed my world forever just from that one conversation. Something I will carry in my my heart, mind, and soul forever!! Hail Hail to the True King Of Rock and Roll Chuck Berry!

Cool video from CSN ft The Chicago BlackHawks Parade & WBBs Somethings Going Down  


The Chicago BlackHawks wins the 2015 Stanley Cup then come home to about a million people to gather and watch the parade while CSN put together a nice video of the wildest moments of the parade accompanied with my song "Something's Going Down" ft. Twista, GLC, and Sugar Blue Check it out here

 

Come join us to celebrate my 2500th career show milestone at Buddy Guy Legends on July 18th 2015 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Fittingly Wayne Baker Brooks’ milestone performance takes place in Sweet Home Chicago and most importantly in the venue where it all began. Buddy Guy’s Legends is the club that Wayne used to hone his distinctive style and chops at the Monday Night Blues Jams.

“I literally would be there every night when I wasn’t on the road, watching the masters like Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Koko Taylor, Luther Allison and my father play. I was taking notes, learning, soaking up as much as possible and also would get my chance to play and sing during Monday night Blues Jams. Buddy Guy’s Legends gave us young cats a place to perfect our crafts. A big Thank you also to George Base, who at that time was the jam host and guitar player for Junior Wells, for getting me up on the stage for the first time ever to play and sing at the same time. If it wasn’t for George I may have never had the chance back in those days.”

It was only natural that Buddy Guy’s club is the venue for the occasion since Brooks not only have known Buddy all his life declaring buddy as a good friend of his and his family but also affirms Buddy as one of his main influences outside his father. Buddy has graciously shared the stage with Wayne on numerous special occasions such as performing live on WRXT radio during broadcasted Chicago Blues Fest kick off parties, jamming together on ABC’s Windy City Live, receiving the Buddy Guy seal of approval and during prior performances at Buddy Guy’s Legends. Brooks was selected to serve as musical director and programmer for the City of Chicago’s official send off for Buddy Guy to receive his Kennedy Center Honors in 2012.

Buddy Guys Legends is located at 700 S. WABASH AVE in CHICAGO, IL 60605; the show starts promptly at 9:30
PM. Advanced tickets ($20.00) for the July 18th performance are available at: http://buddyguy.com/event.cfm?cart&showTimingID=212262

For all out of town fans Wayne Baker Brooks’ performance will be broadcasted live on https://gigity.tv/BuddyGuysLegends.

For further information please visit www.waynebakerbrooks.com.

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Jamming with my Friends 



Had the pleasure to jam out on 3 songs with one of the most bad ass, soulful, and energetic pedal steel players in world along with his amazing family band Robert Randolph & the Family Band on last Saturday Night Jan 24th, 2015 at the City Winery on Chicago's West loop area. All the ladies started jumping up on the stage like they had the holy ghost, lol. What a fun night with good people, a great audience, and talented souls!!!