Ronnie Baker Brooks
RONNIE BAKER BROOKS: In the Olympic tradition, when the torch gets passed on, the flame transfers from one sure hand to the next -- keeping it burning, while at the same time moving forward. It's a fitting image for young Chicago guitar hero Ronnie Baker Brooks on his aptly titled third release, "The Torch." Not only does he sing with soulful fire and play with a white-hot intensity; he's also carrying the torch from the previous generation of soul and blues greats and moving the music into the future. "I grew up among the best of the best," Brooks says. "Every time I play, I feel like I've got to do it with the authenticity and passion that I saw in guys like Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and my father. But I also have to put my twist on it. None of those guys repeated what came before them."