• QUICK BIO: “When Thompson gets into it, he vibrates all over the stage as if his guitar is wired to 10,000 volts. This guy doesn't need a beer to unwind at the end of the night; he needs an exorcist.”
2/22/2017 7:18:21 PM
San Francisco Bay Area CA - United States
• Blues [Rock, Soul, Acoustic]
• INFLUENCES: John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, Fats Domino, Pinetop Perkins
Ron Thompson-Guitar, Vocals, Keyboard, Harmonica, Mandolin
• CONTACT INFO:
Personal Assistant to Ron Thompson
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!"
After serving as John Lee Hooker's bandleader for seven years, Thompson went on to form his own group, Ron Thompson and His Resisters, which continues to tour extensively. Recently, Ron performed at the Jazz and Blues Sessions in Berne, Switzerland, and he has electrified stages in Poland, Mexico, Belize, and many other parts of the world. He is planning a tour in Panama in 2015, and will be appearing at the top blues festivals in the United States.
Ron Thompson was honored by the City of San Francisco for his decades of musical contributions. A few days after San Francisco Giants Home Run King Barry Bonds got "his day" in The City for breaking the all-time American baseball home run record, San Francisco celebrated its own musical home run king, Ron Thompson. By official proclamation of Mayor Gavin Newsom, September 5, 2007, was declared "Ron Thompson Day in San Francisco."
Ron's extensive roster of awards over the years include: Two Bay Area Music Awards (Bammies), the Colorado Blues Society's Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into the Blues Hall of Fame, and many more. Ron's Resistor Twister album was nominated for a Grammy in 1987. [For a full list of Ron's awards and honors, please see the list of awards at the end of this biography.]
THE MUSIC OF RON THOMPSON
In the early 1980's, Ron met Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) and the two became musical partners and close friends. Ron and Mick formed the band, Mick Fleetwood's Blue Whale. Blue Whale still occasionally performs when Ron and Mick's busy schedules permit.
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 or recorded with such musical greats as Bruce Willis, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, 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.
Ron Thompson released his first solo and acoustic album Resonator in 2007. All the tracks except two were written by Ron, and display his versatility—from bluesy to spiritual to jazzy instrumental. Resonator was greeted with critical acclaim the world over. Not only did Resonator demonstrate Ron's ability to perform as a solo artist, it showcased his songwriting prowess and mastery of many diverse genres.
RON THOMPSON—A MUSICIAN'S MUSICIAN
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 have 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."
Andy Grigg, music critic for Real Blues magazine, wrote: ";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."
Shortly after recording with Chris Isaak on the album San Francisco Days and touring with Isaak 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."
WHAT'S NEXT FOR RON THOMPSON?
Ron's busy tour schedule in recent years has kept him so busy that he hasn't released new studio work since 2007. Well, all that is changing in 2014! Ron recently collaborated on a modern gospel CD that will hit the airwaves in early summer. He also has recorded a variety of original recordings that will surprise and amaze the listener, and he has some unique cover tunes in store too—all with that special RT touch. Ron plans to begin rolling out the new music in late Spring. Be sure to check his Facebook (Ron Thompson and Fans) page for upcoming announcements!.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Ron Thompson performs both solo and as a three piece band with drummer and bass guitar.