support 'Green Highway'

The choices include sustainable energy and environmental protection.

Jeff Kart

By Jeff Kart
Bay City, MI, USA | Fri Oct 23 13:00:00 GMT 2009

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC NewsWire via AP Images

photo of Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal

Environmental Charity | Music

Halloween is the deadline for fans to vote on how money raised by a “BonTaj” tour should be spent.

The BonTaj stands for Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal, two longtime blues artists who were on the road in August and September, raising funds for charity through a portion of ticket sales and money from their own pockets. They also sold VIP packages to raise additional dollars, and did meet-and-greets with fans at every show.

Until Oct. 31, the artists are taking votes on how more than $175,000 raised through the effort should be split up. The choices are: Safe and Sustainable Energy, Environmental Protection, Social Justice and Human Rights, and Blues/Music Education.

You can vote online.

The BonTaj effort is a campaign of the ARIA Foundation, which stands for Artist Resources in Action.

Green Highway, an nonprofit education group founded by Raitt, invited local and national groups with a cause to set up tables on the BonTaj tour, which covered 34 stops across the United States.

“Bonnie’s been raising funds and inviting nonprofit organizations to do education and outreach at her concerts for many years, so we have lots of great community and national organizations we work with from coast-to-coast,” said Kathy Kane, Raitt’s manager.

The tour was well-attended, too.

“We completely sold out more than one-third of the tour and found the ticket sales were strong in most markets, which we feel very fortunate about given the economy,” Kane said.

Bonnie Background

Since the 1970s, Raitt has been involved with green outings including concerts for forest, oil, mining and water protection. She was a founding member of MUSE, which stands for Musicians United for Safe Energy, and was even arrested twice in support of a change in forest policy.

This year marked the first time Taj Mahal has toured with Raitt, even though they’ve known each other since the 1970s, when she opened for him at a concert at Skidmore College in New York.

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