Not many living blues musicians can say they have performed with and recorded for legends like Big Mama Thornton, Sonny Rhodes, Luther Tucker, Jimmy McCracklin, Pee Wee Crayton, Carla Thomas, Roy Gaines, 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 Bay nightclubs and bars in the early ‘70s. During many years of touring coast to coast with John Lee Hooker, Hooker was quoted as saying, "Ron Thompson, he's my main man!"
After serving as John Lee Hooker’s bandleader for seven years, Thompson went on to form his own group—Ron Thompson and His Resisters— and toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Central America. In the early 80’s, Ron met Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) and the two became musical partners and close friends. Mick convinced Ron to move to Los Angeles where they formed the band, Mick Fleetwood’s Blue Whale.
Thompson is famous for his marathon, sweat-soaked sets everywhere he appears. Few performers put more energy into their performances than this slide-guitar wrangler and blues-belter.
The City of San Francisco declared September 5, 2007 as “Ron Thompson Day” to honor his decades of musical contributions to the community.
Tom Mazzolini, founder and producer of the San Francisco Blues Festival, the longest running blues festival in the United States, said, “I’ve always felt Ron is the most talented blues guitarist I’ve ever seen. He can do it all. He’s extraordinarily gifted. What many folks aren’t aware of is that Ron was a huge asset in the re-emergence of John Lee Hooker—he was the foundation for that boogie sound.”
Ron recently appeared at the world famous San Francisco Blues Festival as a headliner with the Legends of Chicago Blues (James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and more).
Thompson has performed several times on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, a week-long luxurious music extravaganza in the Western Caribbean and other regions. Thompson joined such stars as Taj Mahal, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Jimmy Thackery, Pete Sears (Hot Tuna), Tommy Castro, and countless other internationally known blues artists in frequent and electrifying jam sessions on the cruises.
Andy Grigg, music critic for Real Blues magazine, wrote in the 2005 August issue: “If you haven’t experienced Ron T. ‘live’ I can’t even begin to convey the absolute go-for-broke Blues rave-ups and sweat-soaked pandemonium Thompson and his Resistors dispense on a nightly basis… When it comes to slide guitar workouts, I would say he's the Best in the World, and yet the man sings his ass off too.”
Ron won KGO radio’s (the biggest radio station in Northern California) “Best Music You Ever Heard” 2006 competition. Thompson received Real Blues magazine’s 2004 awards for Best Live West Coast Blues Act, Best West Coast Blues Slide Guitarist, and Best West Coast Blues Guitarist/Modern. He was nominated for a Grammy for his album, Resister Twister. Thompson also won two Bay Area Music Awards (Bammies) and has reaped countless other awards and accolades.
Ron Thompson's 2007 schedule is packed with appearances at many of the nation's most highly esteemed venues and festivals. A few of his upcoming performances include: the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise (Mexico, October); the Summer of Love 40th Anniversary Concert (September 2nd); headlining the Belvedere Blues Festival in Colorado (September 8th); and continued performances at Ron's favorite San Francisco night spot, Biscuits and Blues. A full concert line-up of upcoming and past performances can be obtained from Thompson's website. www.rtblues.com
Ron is sharing bills this year with an impressive line-up of musical greats, including Bruce Willis, Mick Fleetwood, Chris Isaak, Johnny Rawls, Tommy Castro, Booker T. Jones, and Bay Area favorites Lydia Pense and Cold Blood.
Thompson’s extensive discography includes five of his own albums, much studio work, and several European anthologies. Not only has he shared the stage with numerous blues luminaries, Thompson has performed with or recorded for such musical greats as Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Elvin Bishop, Bill Medley, Huey Lewis, Dr. John, songwriter Bobby Womak, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Cray Band, Z.Z. Top, and legions of others artists.
Shortly after recording with Chris Isaak on San Francisco Days and touring to promote the album, Thompson was called on stage. Isaak introduced him, telling the audience, "You might think these crowd barriers are here to keep you away from the stage. They're not. They're here to keep Ron Thompson away from you!”
Steve Cropper, one of the founding members of both Booker T. and the MG's and The Mar-Keys, (and who has also written songs with Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, and dozens of others) once said of Ron, “What this guy knows, you can’t get out of a book.”
Thompson’s new all-solo CD, Resonator, was released in January 2007 and is receiving rave reviews. Ron recorded on guitar, mandolin, piano, and vocals—and then mixed it all together for an unbelievable, quadruple threat, all-Ron Thompson recording. Most of the material is comprised of original Ron Thompson compositions.
1/22/2008 5:21:42 PM
Love that slide playing on Sunnyland, astonishing!
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