ST. PETERSBURG – Fighting for Rocky Ruckman at Ringside – a fundraiser for longtime Tampa Bay area musician Rocky Ruckman – is Sunday, June 29, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Ringside Café, 16 Second St. N.
The show will include a jam with Branson Welch at midnight as well as performances by Donni Bennett Band, Greg Billings Band, Hal Hammer Jr. and the Cross Creek Blues Band, Lee Pons, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Red X Band, Sarasota Slim, Shawn Brown, Stone Soul, Stormbringer, TC Carr & Bolts of Blue and Woody & The Woodtones.
There will be a donation cover, which is not required for entry. Attendees will have an opportunity to bid on unique music memorabilia in a silent auction. There also will be raffle prizes with winners drawn hourly.
For information, call 894-8465.
Ruckman is fighting cancer and numerous health complications. This benefit will help the musician with healthcare bills and living expenses.
Originally hailing from the tough steel town of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where his first efforts as a vocalist and guitarist were well received, it was after arriving in Florida that Rocky Ruckman really became a heavy hitter on the Tampa Bay music scene. Consistently fronting a cutting-edge contemporary sound-driven by his spirited, powerful voice and aggressive, punchy guitar work, he soon earned the respect of fans, players and critics alike.
Attacking the stage with a vengeance, Ruckman dynamically fronted several of the most talked about and successful club and concert rock bands in the area. Ruckman was associated with bands such as Monarch (1980-1982), Full Steam Eddy (1982-1983), Blanco (1983-1987), Misspent Youth (1987-1988) and Rocky Ruckman and the Beat Heathens (1988-1997). It was with that final crew that Ruckman released a powerful CD of originals songs entitled “Crazy World Out There.”
After a hiatus from decades of performing five or more dates weekly, he assembled Strange Puppet Release in 2009 and occasionally lent his latent but passionate blues/jazz skills to Blind Willie & Blue Situation in charity events through 2013.
It was during that year that serious health issues arose in the form of cancer and numerous related difficulties which he has been aggressively battling ever since.