Bonnie Raitt Plays San Quentin

Blues guitarist/singer follows in Johnny Cash's footsteps, discusses struggles with addiction.

Bonnie Raitt followed in the footsteps of Johnny Cash on Saturday, playing for inmates of California’s San Quentin State Prison.

Raitt gave a 90-minute concert of hits and blues standards and talked about her struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, according to her label publicist. Bluesman Keb’ Mo’ opened the show.

The concert took place in front of about 2,000 inmates. Raitt’s first show inside prison walls resulted from her association with Bread and Roses, a San Francisco-area organization that brings performers to inmates and recovering addicts.

Raitt, who’s been sober for 14 years, told the Associated Press that she views performances like the one at San Quentin as part of her efforts to stay clean. “Music and talking about my sobriety are the same expression of who I am,” Raitt said. “I’m just struggling every day to get it right.”
Cash released the classic live recording Johnny Cash at San Quentin in 1969.