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Ron Thompson (blues guitarist)

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Ron Thompson
Background information
Born(1953-07-05)July 5, 1953
Oakland, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 15, 2020(2020-02-15) (aged 66)
Hayward, California, U.S.
GenresElectric blues, blues rock[1]
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Instrument(s)Slide guitar, vocals
Years activeEarly 1970s–2020
LabelsBlind Pig, various

Ron Thompson (July 5, 1953 – February 15, 2020) was an American electric blues and blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.[1] Thompson released nine albums after 1983 on labels including Blind Pig. He worked with Little Joe Blue, John Lee Hooker, Lowell Fulson, Etta James and Big Mama Thornton.

Thompson commented on his preferred style, "blues is like a medicine, or religion to me, it'll cleanse your soul".[2] Meanwhile, Mick Fleetwood stated, "Ron Thompson is my favorite guitarist".[3]

Life and career[edit]

Thompson was born in Oakland, California, United States, and had mastered basic guitar and slide guitar techniques by his mid-teens.[1] He was educated at Newark High School, in Newark, California.[2] In the early 1970s, Thompson played backing to Little Joe Blue, and worked solo and as a sideman in San Francisco Bay Area clubs. He joined John Lee Hooker's backing band in 1975 and stayed with him for three years. In 1980, Thompson formed his own group, the Resistors, and secured a recording contract with Takoma Records.[1] He played at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1978, 1979 and 1983.

In 1983, he released his debut album, Treat Her Like Gold. Thompson also found employment where he separately worked with Lowell Fulson, Etta James and Big Mama Thornton. Thompson's second album Resister Twister was released in 1987 and was nominated for a Grammy Award,[3] plus 1990's Just Like a Devil, was taken from his work on Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party radio show.[1]

Thompson's 2007 album, Resonator was a purely acoustic production.[3]

Thompson died in Hayward, California on February 15, 2020, at the age of 66, due to complications from diabetes.[4]


Year Title Record label
1983 Treat Her Like Gold Takoma
1987 Resister Twister Blind Pig
1990 Just Like a Devil Winner
1998 Magic Touch Poore Boy
2003 Just Pickin' Acrobat Music
2004 Still Resisting Poore Boy
2007 Resonator 32-20
2015 Son of Boogie Woogie Little Village Foundation


With John Lee Hooker

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bill Dahl. "Ron Thompson". Allmusic. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Local legend brews the blues by Linda Stone | April 4, 2006". Tri City Voice. 2006-04-04. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  3. ^ a b c "Ron Thompson - Rhythm and Blues Legend". Rtblues.com. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  4. ^ "Bay Area blues guitar legend Ron Thompson dies at age 66". The Mercury News. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Ron Thompson | Discography". AllMusic. 1953-07-05. Retrieved 2014-01-28.

External links[edit]