Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ronnie Baker Brooks

I’m just a couple of weeks away from the day, five years ago, when Willie Panker suggested I think about extending my promotional skills on behalf of live Blues.  So I continue down this memory lane.  Obviously I’ve had five years of exceptional music at great venues and festivals, and I’ve also been blessed with numerous memories that can instantaneously become smiles.  Please indulge me this happy trip to the past.

I first met Ronnie backstage at the Greeley Blues Jam in 2009, shortly before their set.  I watched their set from the relative comfort of the photographers pit, because at 5’ 2” (on a good day), it’s about the only place I can see the performers without getting trampled by tall people who don’t see me in their peripheral vision (crowds can be a painful nightmare for us shorties). 

I’d not seen Ronnie live before, and along with C.J. Tucker and Carlton Armstrong (more about him in a minute), he had the great Jellybean Johnson with him!  Their set was like a new happy drug to me, the effects of which can only be felt at a live performance.  Fortunately since then, I’ve wracked up a number of those happy times, and have become friends with these fine gentlemen.  With Carlton, that almost didn’t happen.

For those readers who’ve seen a live RBBB performance, you know that Carlton wears some rather menacing expressions while playing the bass, and I was terrified of him.  I gave him a wide berth backstage, and when Cricket introduced us, if I remember correctly, I shook his hand, then started looking for an escape route, in case he didn’t care for my grip.