The Musician's Relief Fund
The San Francisco International Boogie Woogie Festival supports The Golden Gate Blues Society in helping Bay Area blues artists in time of need. The Musician’s Relief Fund has benefitted from almost $5,000 in donations from the SF Boogie Woogie Festival.
In the initial two years already major assistance has been delivered to Ron Thomspon, a legendary artist living in the east bay and faced with the inability to perform due to health challenges, the Blues Foundation HART Fund, based out of Memphis Tennessee, and south bay legend Chris Cain.
Not many living blues musicians can say they have performed with and recorded for legends like Big Mama Thornton, Tina Turner, Bruce Willis, Luther Tucker, Jimmy McCracklin, Pee Wee Crayton, Carla Thomas, Booker T. Jones, Percy Mayfield, Etta James, B.B. King, and Jimmy Reed. Ron Thompson can, and that's just the beginning!
Ron Thompson is a legendary rhythm and blues guitarist and master keyboardist whose career began in the rough and tumble world of East San Francisco Bay nightclubs and bars in the early 1970's. During many years of touring coast to coast with John Lee Hooker, Hooker was quoted as saying, "Ron Thompson, he's my main man!"
The Blues Foundation does more than promote the Blues, run the Blues Music Awards and the International Blues Challenge. Its charitable arm reaches deep into the community and helps those folks who make their living in the blues when they need it the most. The HART Fund touches the lives of bay area artists and on May 8 SFBWF organizer Wendy DeWitt presented a check from The Golden Gate Blues Society for $1000 after performing a set at The Beale Street Mess Around, an annual HART Fund benefit featuring top blues artists from around the U.S. and beyond.
Through his guitar mastery and remarkable songwriting ability, Chris Cain has established himself as a musical force to be reckoned with and is a well known figure on international festivals. San Jose Mercury News music reviewer John Orr writes, "more than anyone else, anywhere, Chris Cain represents the future of the blues."