Nombre total de pages vues

lundi 11 mars 2013

FROM GUITAR Jr TO LONNIE BROOKS




FROM GUITAR JUNIOR TO LONNIE BROOKS



            Comme Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks est né en Louisiane, a été très influencé par Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones) avant de monter à Chicago et y devenir un artiste important du Chicago blues. Mais, à la différence de Buddy Guy, Brooks a, lui, substantiellement enregistré en Louisiane avant de recommencer une carrière différente à Chicago, changeant de pseudonyme au passage.
            En fait, tout commence avec Lee Baker Jr qui naît à Dubuisson (La), une bourgade très proche de Ville Platte, le 18 décembre 1933. Son père, banjoïste à ses heures, lui inculque l'amour de la musique et le jeune Lee écoute les musiques jouées autour de lui: Cajun, Jazz, Pop... Comme beaucoup, il quitte la ferme familiale à l'adolescence pour tenter sa chance dans le grand port du Golfe du Mexique, Port Arthur. La grande vedette du début des années 50 dans cette région est le guitariste et chanteur Guitar Slim (auteur de l'immortel Things I used to do) qui marque autant par ses talents de guitariste électrique torride, son chant passionné que par son jeu de scène. C'est totalement sous l'influence de Guitar Slim que Lee Baker apprend la guitare, se met à chanter et fait quelques remplacements dans divers orchestres locaux dont celui de Clifton Chenier.
            Mais c'est l'avisé producteur Eddie Shuler qui repère le jeune Lee Baker Jr, séduit par sa capacité à imiter Guitar Slim à la perfection. Il rebaptise son protégé Guitar Jr afin que nul ne puisse se tromper sur la filiation assumée et volontaire et l'enregistre pour son label Goldband dans le style néo-orléanais de son idole dès 1957. Le succès est au rendez-vous avec Family Rules et The crawl, devenus des classiques louisianais entre blues et Swamp Pop. Guitar Jr fait aussi des progrès très rapides à la guitare et à la mort de Guitar Slim en 1959, il décide de donner un autre tournant à sa carrière. Il quitte la Louisiane qu'il pense trop fermée et part s'installer à Chicago où d'autres Guitar Jr existent déjà. Lee Baker Jr aka Guitar Junior devient alors Lonnie Brooks, un patronyme venu de la famille de sa mère.
            La mutation à Chicago se fait difficilement et Lonnie Brooks doit substantiellement adapter son style de chant et de guitare aux canons en vigueur aux bords du Lac Michigan. Mais là aussi comme son compatriote Buddy Guy, il conservera toujours nombre de traits musicaux et scéniques de Guitar Slim.
            Pendant un temps, Lonnie Brooks végète dans les petits clubs, accompagne Jimmy Reed, enregistre quelques 45t pour différents petits labels qui sont aujourd'hui difficiles à trouver. En 1969, lors d'une tournée en Californie, le label Capitol où travaille Wayne Shuler (le fils d'Eddie) lui fait enregistrer son premier album (Broke & Hungry) sous le nom de Guitar Jr et dans le pur style louisianais des productions Goldband. Le LP de bonne facture se vend très mal et notre bluesman retourne à Chicago et conservera désormais le nom de Lonnie Brooks.
            Quelques années plus tard, l'excellente série Living Chicago blues du label Alligator révèlera vraiment Lonnie Brooks qui, en quelques disques, s'imposera comme un des principaux talents du nouveau Chicago blues teinté de Soul et de Funk avec, chez Brooks, de très fortes réminiscences de Guitar Slim.
            Nous avons regroupé ici la quasi-totalité des titres que Lee Baker/ Guitar Jr/ Lonnie Brooks a enregistrés entre 1957 et 1969 et qui permettent de voir un artiste qui se cherche, forge progressivement son style qui puise à différents terreaux. Une fois encore merci à Hartmut Münnich et Benoit Blue Boy pour le prêt de leurs rares 45t.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

Like Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks was born in Louisiana, was also strongly influenced by Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones from Things I used to do fame), and also transplanted this very Louisiana style in Chicago.
            But unlike Buddy Guy, Lonnie recorded several records and at least two hits in his native state before moving to Chicago.
            Born Lee Baker Jr (on 18 December 1933 in Dubuisson, near Ville Platte) from a farming family with a banjo playing father, the young man went to the burgeoning Port Arthur on the Gulf Coast in the early 50's to make a better living. The big name of the era and the whole South West was Guitar Slim whose incendiary guitar playing, scorching vocals and stage histrionics persuaded Lee Baker to learn guitar and try his luck as a musician in the very style of his idol. After some local gigs and a short stint with Clifton Chenier, the young man was really discovered by Eddie Shuler, head of Goldband Records. Eddie renamed Lee Baker as Guitar Jr, featured him as a rival of Guitar Slim and recorded him in 1957 in a Louisiana bluesy Swamp Pop style. Family rules and The crawl were local hits and soon Guitar Jr toured the South, becoming quickly a very good guitar player on his own while retaining a strong influence of Guitar Slim.
            At the untimely death of Slim, Guitar Jr who was on tour with Sam Cooke, decided to quit Louisiana and Goldband altogether to try to launch a wider career in Chicago. But the times were hard in the Windy City and nobody was really waiting for a newcomer from the South West who was there largely unknown. As there were already several Guitar Jr playing the blues in Chicago, Lee Baker took the name of Lonnie Brooks, apparently from his mother's family.

            Lonnie played and recorded with Jimmy Reed and, during the 60's, went into the studios for several labels (mostly small ones), waxing some hard to find tracks. In 1969, while on tour in California, Lonnie was recorded by Capitol whose producer Wayne Shuler (the son of Eddie) knew him of course from his Louisiana days. For his first album (Broke &Hungry he took again the Guitar Jr moniker and the Louisiana style. But the album went nowhere and our man was soon back in Chicago, this time as Lonnie Brooks for good.
            Some years later, Alligator's Bruce Iglauer gave him his real start featuring him on his magnificent Living Chicago Blues series. With subsequent albums for the label, Brooks was finally recognized as one of the leading name of a new kind of Modern Chicago blues, mixing Soul, blues and, of course in the case of our man, still a strong influence of Guitar Slim.
            This .mp3 collection gathers most of his early recordings. Once again, many thanks to Hartmut Münnich and Benoit Blue Boy for the generous share of their collections.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT




New Links/ cf Comments





LONNIE BROOKS
Complete Early Recordings
Lonnie Brooks (Lee Baker Jr or Guitar Jr) vcl/g; Clarence Garlow, g; Danny George, t-sax; Leroy James, a-sax; Joe Joseph, pno; Willie Chiasson, bs; Little Brother Griffin, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1957
01. I got it made
02. Family rules
03. Roll roll roll
04. Broken hearted rollin' tears
Lonnie Brooks , vcl/g; , vcl/g; similar band. Lake Charles, La. 1958
05. The crawl
06. Now you know
07. Going crazy baby
08. Tell me baby
Lonnie Brooks , vcl/g; , vcl/g; Danny George, t-sax; Leroy James, a-sax; Joe Joseph, pno; Willie Chiasson, bs; Little Brother Griffin, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1959
09. Pick me up on your way down
10. Get it
11. Please
12. Love me love me Mary Ann
13. Ooh Wee baby
Lonnie Brooks , vcl/g; , vcl/g; Leroy James, t-sax; Katie Webster, og; Sid Lawrence, bs; Little Brother Griffin, dms. Lake Charles, La. 19 janvier 1960
14. Love me love me
15. Knocks me out
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Lefty Bates, g; bs: dms. Chicago, Ill. 11 mai 1960
16. All of my life
17. The hoss
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; og; bs; dms. Chicago, Ill. 1 novembre 1962
18. Mr Hot Shot
19. The popeye
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Billy Emerson, og; King Edward, g; Nolan Struck, bs; Jerome Price, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1964
20. I'm not going home
21. Figure head
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Detroit Jr, pno; Nolan Struck, bs; Jerome Price, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1965
22. The train
23. The frog
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Joe Evans, flt/t-sax; Detroit Jr, pno/og; Pete Randolph, bs; Harold Tidwell, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1967
24. Demonstrating (Let it all hang out)
25. One sunny day
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; band. Chicago, Ill. 1967
26. Good soul lovin
27. Soul meeting
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Harmonica Fats, hca; Don Randi, pno; Don Peake, g; Lyle Ritz, bs; Paul Humphrey, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 6-8 octobre 1969
28. Things I used to do
29. Go to the Mardi Gras
30. Texas Flood
31. Tom Cat blues
32. Rooster blues
33. The train and the horse
34. Broke & hungry
35. When there's no way out
36. Dont touch me baby
37. Bed bug blues
38. Wee wee hours
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Willie Mabon, pno; Hubert Sumlin, g; Little Mack Simmons, hca; Dave Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms. Paris, Fr. décembre 1974
39. Big leg woman
40. Crazy about my baby
41. Crosscut saw
42. Reconsider baby
43. Sweet home Chicago
44. The train and the horse
45. Two guitars shuffle
46. Mama talk to your daughter
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Bob Levis, g; Rob Waters, pno; Harlan Terson, bs; Robert Taylor Layton, dms. Chicago, Ill. 24 mars 1977
47. Let's talk it over
48. Hard gamblin' woman
49. Crash head on into love
50. If you want me to love you
51. Reconsider baby
52. Greasy man
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Bob Levis, g; Rob Waters, pno; Harlan Terson, bs; Casey Jones, dms. Chicago, Ill. avril 1978
53. Don't answer the door
54. Two headed man
55. Cold lonely nights
56. Move over little dog

Benoit Blue Boy qui connaît particulièrement les productions Goldband nous apporte ses corrections et amendements à cette discographie:
" Il y a 3 versions de Goin' Crazy dont une qui a été nommée "Oo Wee Baby". Ces titres on eté retouvés au studio Golband en 1982 mais c'est le meme morceau ,meme seance.
Family Rules  (enregistré fin 1956) a été un hit en Louisiane & East Texas en 1957
Tous les titres Goldband datent de 1956 - 59 &  les Mercury datent d'une seule seance a Chicago  1960 ". 

There is some confusion on the 1957-59 Goldband's recording dates. Benoit Blue Boy who knows very well the Goldband sessions gives very different dates and even titles with three versions of Goin' Crazy (one named Oo Wee baby). Family rules would have been recorded in 1956. All the Goldband sides were recorded between 1956 and 1959.



9 commentaires:

  1. Fantastic Gerard! I played this at work today and it sounded great.

    RépondreSupprimer
  2. These guys used different names and combine that with incomplete recording session information and when you bring this together as a comp., it makes for valuable listening experience. I appreciate the early stuff...especially when the focus is on just the musician and his early songs.

    RépondreSupprimer
  3. I would like to thank you for this excellent information!! This is really something that is very effective from what you state. I am very happy that I found this website.

    RépondreSupprimer
  4. Thanks so much, Gerard. Your blog is filled with information, kindness and generosity. I look forward to returning.

    Iggy

    RépondreSupprimer
  5. Great blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any discussion boards that
    cover the same topics discussed in this article? I'd really love to be a
    part of community where I can get comments from other
    knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me
    know. Many thanks!

    Here is my web blog :: cliquer sur la page du site jusqu'à venir

    RépondreSupprimer
  6. New links for Lonnie Brooks/ Early Recordings

    CD1:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/ja8bj73sxvc4a4n/BROOKSL_Vintage_1.zip

    CD2:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/yd3sg88c6cdcqhl/BROOKSL._Vintage_2.zip

    Disco:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/8bimo1jqxmem6zh/Brooks_disco.pdf

    RépondreSupprimer