Ray Brooks – King of the High Desert Blues

Few People realize that Southern California is home to some of the Countries best Blues Musicians including West Coast Blues Man, Ray Brooks. Ray Brooks – recently interviewed image12by venerable Living Blues magazine for their upcoming article on “Legendary Bluesman of Los Angeles” – first began playing professionally back in 1958, at the Cloud 9 Club in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He worked throughout South Texas, backing artists as Floyd Dixon and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. In 1961 Brooks moved to Dallas, Texas, where he worked with Freddie King and the great Buster Smith. Brooks arrived in Los Angeles, California in June of 1963, and started to appear in all of the popular L.A. clubs of the time. In 1968, he co-wrote “Burbank Brown”, a song that was featured in the hit movie, “Bob, Carol, Ted & Alice”. Ray was nominated for a Blues Grammy in 1979 for his recording of “Walk Out Like A Lady”,taken from his album, “Let’s Try Love”. Ray subsequently toured with the Job Corp. around the country, and shortly thereafter played a lengthy residency at Harrah’s Club Lake Tahoe. In 1980 Ray toured South Africa three months with Cashears as the opening act for Tina Turner, and after that, with late keyboard great, Billy Preston. In 2007, Brooks performed the music in a commercial. for French sunglasses company, Optic 2000. Most recently, Ray relocated to the Southern California High Desert city of Victorville. He was a headline performer at the 2014 High Desert Music Festival, and continues to perform throughout SoCal, as well as teach music.

 

In addition to playing and recording, Brooks currently teaches music at the Excelsior Charter School system in Victorville.


Locally, Ray Brooks & the Bluzmasters perform at the High Desert Lodge, 13410 Amargosa Rd – Victorville., every Sunday from 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm. No cover. Info: (760) 951-1696 or http://www.hdl107.com/.