U.S. Tour set for August and September
This summer, Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal - two leading lights of modern blues - are joining forces for their first-ever tour together. The BonTaj Roulet" tour will be a coast-to-coast, 30-date outing in August and September. These shows will feature Bonnie and Taj on stage alone and together. Bonnie, backed by her always-dazzling group, and Taj, with the six-piece, Grammy-winning Phantom Blues Band, will play full sets separately, before closing each night with a collaborative, blow-out performance.
This tour is just what the doctor ordered," says Bonnie. Taj and I have so much in common, but there's so much unexplored territory between us. It's been a long time coming, and now is the right time."
We've been like ships passing in the night," adds Taj. Some of my musicians used to play with Bonnie, we have so many of the same friends - this is really an opportunity to combine some forces and play some great music."
In addition to the glorious sounds, these two socially conscious artists will also be using the tour to make a difference. The BonTaj Collective Action Fund will utilize several initiatives to raise money for a variety of causes. In conjunction with ticketing agencies like Ticketmaster, Live Nation Ticketing and Musictoday, and some venues and promoters, the concertgoers and artists will all come together with the goal of raising $1 for charity per ticket sold on The BonTaj Roulet Tour.
Additionally, at every concert, Bonnie and Taj are making available ACTION FUND VIP PACKAGES offering premium seats and an opportunity for a limited number of concertgoers to come backstage for an artist meet-and-greet after the show. All funds raised will go into the BonTaj Collective Action Fund.
Concertgoers are encouraged to vote on which causes to support at the BonTaj.com website. Proceeds will be distributed in proportion to overall votes tallied, to benefit organizations that work on the following issues: Safe and Sustainable Energy; Environmental Protection; Social Justice and Human Rights; and Blues/Music Education. For more information, to vote on causes for the Action Fund to support and to buy special premium seating, visit www.bontaj.com/thecollective.
Bonnie and Taj first met in the early 1970s, when she opened for him at a concert at Skidmore College. In 1973, Taj co-produced Bonnie's third album, Takin' My Time. I watched her develop under the tutelage of people like Fred MacDowell and Sippie Wallace," says Taj. She got right in there and stomped it down. She wasn't afraid to play for real."
It's like we're cousins," says Bonnie. We're both blessed that we knew those old blues guys, we love the same kinds of music - we have a common language."
As for their nightly jam sessions on the BonTaj Roulet" tour, both artists sound like they're raring to go. There's gonna be a lot of fireworks, because it's so fresh," says Bonnie. I think about it before I go to sleep, toying with the possibilities, and it feels like having an extra slice of pie, getting both of these bands to play together like this. There's so much potential to what we can do."
At these times," says Taj, peoples' money is short, there's lots of pressure and distractions, and this is when our job comes deep into focus and we really need to get on the stick. So I don't know about anybody else, but I know I'm gonna have some fun."
BonTaj Roulet Tour Dates:
08.06, Williamsport, PA Community Arts Center
08.08, Philadelphia, PA Mann Center
08.9, Wallingford, CT Chevrolet Theatre
08.11, Newark, NJ NJPAC
08.12, Brooklyn, NY Prospect Park Bandshell
08.14, Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Melody Tent
08.15, Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion
08.16, Vienna, VA Filene Center at Wolf Trap
08.18, Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre
08.19, Louisville, KY The Louisville Palace
08.21, Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival
08.22, Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival
08.23, Grand Rapids, MI Meijer Gardens
08.25, Indianapolis, IN The Lawn at White River State Park
08.27, St. Paul, MN Minnesota State Fair
08.28, Council Bluffs, IA Stir Cove at Harrah's Casino
08.30, Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
09.01, Salt Lake City, UT Red Butte Amphitheatre
09.02, Boise, ID Boise Botanical Gardens
09.03, Portland, OR Edgefield Winery
09.05, Bend, OR Les Schwab Amphitheatre
09.06, Seattle, WA Chateau Ste Michelle
09.07, Eugene, OR Cuthbert Amphitheatre
09.09, Friant, CA Table Mountain Casino
09.11, Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
09.12, Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl
09.13, Saratoga, CA The Mountain WInery
09.16, Oakland, CA TBD
09.17, San Diego, CA Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay
09.18, House of Blues, Las Vegas
09.23, Albuquerque, NM Sandia Casino
09.24, Phoenix, AZ Dodge Theatre
09.25, Rancho MIrage, CA Agua Caliente Casino