Cindy Wasserman Fund

“Smiles” Cindy Wasserman. Photo Patrick Dennis

“Smiles” Cindy Wasserman. Photo Patrick Dennis

A Message From Cindy 12/14/15
“I just wanted to thank you all for all the support and love you have given me over the last couple weeks and all the wonderful birthday wishes this week. Huge thanks to Exene Cervenka, Mike Rouse and everyone at the Sweet Relief organization for their support and help in spreading the word to you all about my cancer diagnosis.

I can’t thank everyone enough for all your amazing healing wishes, prayers and donations. I am truly blown away by all the kind words and contributions. A million thanks to all the wonderful people who shared the posts written about me with their friends on social media. This support really helps me both emotionally and financially to feel that I am not alone in all of this. Words can’t express my gratitude. Much love and happy holidays to you all. I will keep you posted on my progress and plan to see everyone on the road again very soon.”

– Love & Gratitude,

Xox Cindy


Exene Cervenka of X sent us the following letter about her friend and musical associate Cindy Wasserman of the band Dead Rock West:

Cindy Wasserman, the singer you have heard on so many other artists’ recordings, needs your help. Recently diagnosed with breast cancer, Cindy still finished her touring obligations (with her singing partner Frank Drennen in Dead Rock West), opening all the shows X played over the summer and fall. Her captivating presence was felt by all who heard her voice; so warm, haunting, and timeless. Dead Rock West then toured with Phil and Dave Alvin. All the while, Cindy never let on that she was ill. She wanted the audiences and her fellow tour mates to have a great time, a meaningful time, a joyful time.

Cindy Wasserman is that extremely rare combination of talent, grace, beauty and heart. She works so hard to make you sound good on your recordings, and she sounds so good you wonder why it’s not you singing the harmony parts on her songs!

All of us in the music community, whether musicians, managers, promoters, singers, songwriters, sound people, everyone, are all grateful to have Cindy in our lives. She is truly loved, not just for her voice, but for the generosity, humor, positivity, and love and caring friendship she gives us. She is a source of a lot of light in this world. That’s why to know Cindy, is to love Cindy.

Please help Cindy get through a very difficult time by supporting her now.”

– Sincerely,

Exene Cervenka


Exene Cervenka | John Doe
DJ Bonebrake | Dave Alvin
Peter Case | Rickie Lee Jones
Mark Olson | Bob Weir
Rob Wasserman | Grant Lee Phillips
Eddie Vedder | Mike Peters
The Sadies | Duane Jarvis
Steve Poltz | The Young Dubliners
Joe Henry | Elliot Easton
Nels Cline

Singer and sweet light of a human being Cindy Wasserman, a contributor to records by Rickie Lee Jones, Marc Olson, John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Grant Lee Phillips, Peter Case and to her own hard working band Dead Rock West, was diagnosed in August 2015 with Breast Cancer. Anyone who knows or has met Cindy at shows or in private over the years will attest that the first thing they all remember (after marveling at that otherworldly voice of hers) is her infectious smile and warm hearted hugs. Never the rock n roll diva, she has spent her life supporting, encouraging and bringing a little light to other people with her music and her hugs. Now she needs our help.

She is in the early stages of treatment for this disease but her health and healing recovery look very very positive. This has understandably been a shock to her and her family but she has continued to tour hard this year. With over 100 dates with Dead Rock West, John Doe, X and Dave and Phil Alvin this year, the shows particularly since August have brought her a whole lot of strength and joy that will contribute to her healing. She has meanwhile been carefully educating herself on her treatment options, meeting with professionals during tour breaks and building up her own body’s strength to prepare to enter treatment as soon as she gets home from her final tour date on Nov 21st.

Cindy Wasserman and Exene Cervenka. Dead Rock West perform with members of X at Mill City Nights on August 29, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. © Tony Nelson

Cindy Wasserman and Exene Cervenka. Dead Rock West perform with members of X at Mill City Nights on August 29, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. © Tony Nelson

Her expenses, however, are already mounting and her insurance is not covering much of it. We are asking you, her friends, fans and fellow music lovers, to get involved, contribute what you can and pass the word on to friends and family. Please help bring a little light to this sweethearted songbird for all the music and light that she has brought to us all of these years. Anything small or large helps immensely and we as well as her family and friends are hugely grateful for your support. Cindy herself says thank you so much for the outpouring already and that she is fully committed to a complete recovery and to recording the next Dead Rock West record as planned in 2016, with John Doe in the Producer’s chair this time!

More about Cindy and her music with Dead Rock West:

A compilation of songs from Cindy’s band Dead Rock West and some of her collaborations:


Dead Rock West in The Studio. Photo Jim Herrington

Dead Rock West in The Studio. Photo Jim Herrington

About Sweet Relief in general:
Since 1994 Sweet Relief Musicians Fund has provided assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Grant recipients include recording artists, club and session musicians, composers & songwriters from across the country. Every musical genre is represented including pop, rock, jazz, classical, country, blues, reggae, hip hop and all styles in between. Sweet Relief has served the music community by helping musicians with medical and living expenses including insurance premiums, prescriptions, medical treatment and operative procedures, housing costs, food costs, utilities and other basic necessities.

About Sweet Relief’s Directed Artist Program:
Over the past several years Sweet Relief has developed a much needed and previously unavailable program to assist a substantially under-served constituency. Some artists face such overwhelming financial and personal distress when major illness or injury is coupled with a complete lack of, or grossly under-insured, health plan. In many of these cases, treatment for cancer, brain injury, stroke and MS can accrue expenses reaching several hundred thousands of dollars or more. Our organization takes on the role of organizer, administrator, advocate, event planner, and media partner to bring together family, friends, industry partners and fans when an overwhelming financial obstacle is encountered by the most unfortunate artist. We call this our Directed Artist Program.

For press inquiries about Cindy Wasserman and Dead Rock West, contact:
Mitch Schneider;
Aaron Feterl;
Mike Gowen;

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