All-Star Bay Area Blues Line-Up for Curtis Salgado Benefit June 11

A host of popular Bay Area blues musicians perform June 11 at the Mojo Lounge in Fremont, California for a benefit for blues harmonica great Curtis Salgado, recently diagnosed with liver cancer.

San Francisco, CA, May 14, 2006 --( Kenny “Blue” Ray, one of the top blues guitarists on the West coast, and a host of Bay Area blues greats are teaming up with the Mojo Lounge in Fremont, California, for a benefit concert on June 11 from 4pm – 10pm for Curtis Salgado, the Portland, Oregon based singer-songwriter and harmonica idol, recently diagnosed with liver cancer.

Along with the Kenny Blue Ray Band, performers include harmonica aces R.J. Mischo and Mark Hummel; the very popular guitarists/vocalists Steve Freund and Daniel Castro; The Jackie Payne-Steve Edmonson Band; along with many drop-in musical guests. This is an all-volunteer event with 100% of the proceeds going to the recently created Curtis Salgado fund at the US Bank in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Salgado, born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, is considered the inspiration for John Belushi’s Joliet Jake character in the original Blues Brothers movie. The story goes that Belushi, in Eugene filming National Lampoon’s Animal House, went to the Eugene Hotel to listen to Salgado play the blues. Not a big blues fan prior to this, Belushi found a new love of the genre after hearing Salgado play and speaking with him for hours after the show. Belushi not only patterned his character after Salgado, including the dark glasses and soul patch, he also dedicated the first Blues Brothers album to him.

Salgado has a remarkable solo career combining singing, songwriting and blazing harmonica. He has also performed with Roomful of Blues, The Robert Cray Band, and Santana, among many others.

In a recent announcement, the 52-year-old Salgado, said, "I am fortunate to be under the care of an incredible team of doctors and nurses and am inspired by the courageous people that have faced this fight before me. I am also extremely grateful for the overwhelming support from my family and friends."

Kenny “Blue” Ray, who organized and is headlining the benefit, is a blues veteran of 35 years whose pedigree includes recording and appearing with artists such as William Clarke, Little Charlie and The Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Smokey Wilson, Albert Collins, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Ray has appeared on 40 cds and albums since he began his music career.

In a request to blues fans all over the Bay Area, Ray said, “Come out and help support one of the true princes of the Blues, Mr. Curtis Salgado, down at The Mojo Lounge, June 11th 4pm-10pm". Dennis Briggs, the owner of the Mojo Lounge, who is donating the use of the venue and the ticket sales to the event, added, “It’s great to see musicians of this caliber coming together to assist one of their own. I’m only too happy to do my small part to help with this event.”

Curtis Salgado has touched many people with his music, and it has compelled many musicians and blues lovers to give something back to a bluesman in need. In addition to the Mojo Lounge, The McDonald Theatre, in Eugene, Oregon will hold a benefit on May 28, presented by Stand Up Productions.

Tickets for the Mojo Lounge concert are priced at only $15, but since this is a benefit by top ranked musicians, donations are encouraged. In addition to the music, there will be a raffle and auction with all proceeds going to the Curtis Salgado Fund. Sponsors are being sought to help defray costs and raise more funds. The current auction items, which may be bid on at the event website ( or live at the Mojo Lounge during the event, include a 1985 Yamaha SBG-200 guitar, in mint condition, donated by Carl “Pork Pie Phillips” Ontis and signed by the benefit musicians; Pinot Noir wine donated by Papapietro-Perry winery; and the Ultimate Blues Lovers Package that includes CDs from blues artists, rare blues photos, tickets to local blues festivals, signed t-shirts, beer and wine glasses, and more, donated by the Bay Area Blues Society.

In addition to Kenny “Blue” Ray as host of the benefit, the master of ceremonies will be Joel Fritz, also known as Barrelhouse Solly, a popular local harmonica player and singer. Solly’s powerful voice, stage presence, and sense of humor will go a long way toward helping to sell raffle tickets and build up bidding during the auction.

For more information about the event, the artists who will be performing, and the auction items, go to Businesses and individuals who would like to contribute funds or auction and raffle items are encouraged to contact Bruce Todd at or 415-298-0929. Media contact is Anita Fieldman at 415-686-8841 or For more information about the Curtis Salgado fund at US Bank, go to

Anita Fieldman

Bay Area Blues Group
Anita Fieldman