Following in the tradition of Johnny Cash, B. B. King and others, Bonnie Raitt played a two-hour concert in San Quentin State Prison June 23. During the free concert, she talked about her struggles with drugs and alcohol in hopes of helping inmates who are trying to stay sober. About 2,000 men dressed in prison-issued blue denim gathered in the prison's yard to hear Raitt.
Raitt volunteered for Bread and Roses, a California-based nonprofit group that brings the arts to institutions like prisons, since its founding in 1974 by Mimi Farina, sister of Joan Baez. The San Quentin concert was Raitt's first within prison walls, and it was the first Bread and Roses-sponsored performance at San Quentin since Santana performed in 1988.