“Please do what you can to help our brother”: Joe Bonamassa launches fundraiser in support of Kirk Fletcher following onstage stroke

Kirk Fletcher and a collection of guitar gear being auctioned off for Kirk Fletcher fundraise
(Image credit: Rally Up)

Joe Bonamassa has helped launch a fundraiser in support of fellow blues guitar virtuoso Kirk Fletcher, who has been struggling with medical issues recently after suffering a stroke onstage.

The bluesman suffered the stroke during a performance at Tennessee’s Eastside Bowl back in July, and has been forced out of onstage action ever since.

To support Fletcher and help offset the burden of his medical bills and living expenses, JoBo and his Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation have sponsored a fundraiser auction, which will see the sale of a bumper gear package.

Announcing the auction on Instagram Bonamassa explained, “It’s to help our friend Kirk Fletcher, who’s been having some medical troubles for the last couple of months – and he’s in need of some financial help until he can get back out gigging full time.”

The auction comprises a comprehensive collection of gear, which is headed up by a 2022 Gibson Les Paul Custom signed by all of those who performed at the 2023 Keeping the Blues Alive cruise. That includes Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, Blackberry Smoke, Cardinal Black, Ruthie Foster, Bonamassa himself, and others.

The electric guitar is joined by a ‘48 Fender Dual Professional JB Edition guitar amp. Specifically, it’s the third model in Bonamassa’s line of high-end signature amps, and comes straight from JoBo’s personal collection.

Elsewhere, a sold-out Way Huge Doubleland Special overdrive pedal signed by Bonamassa, as well as his signature Cry Baby JB96 wah pedal and signature guitar strap, is also included in the catalog.

As a bonus, the winning bidder will also receive two tickets to any Joe Bonamassa show with meet and greet passes.

“It’s a really nice package and all of the money is going to Kirk Fletcher,” added Bonamassa, who went on to call Fletcher “one of the greatest traditional blues players of all time”. “It’s going to help him out tremendously get through the next six months, eight months until he starts playing again.”

Josh Smith, who was alongside Bonamassa to announce the auction, added, “I want to thank everybody in advance. Please do what you can to help our brother. He really is our family.”

The auction is currently live with a highest bid of $15,400. The fundraiser will run until 11:59pm EST on November 12. The auction page also gives fans the opportunity to pledge one-off donations of any amount to support Fletcher.

Head over to Rally Up for more information. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.