Mile High Blues Society


Welcome to The Mile High Blues Society!

Have a look around - support live music!
We are musicians, fans, venues, and media committed to enjoying and sustaining Denver's blues music scene.
We Support Live Local Blues - YOU can too!  Become a member today!



MHBS is accepting self produced CD's - the winning submission will be sent to Memphis to be entered in the Best Self Produced CD competition. 
Submissions will be judged by the MHBS Board of Directors. 

You must have a membership to MHBS - any level to enter. 
CD must be provided to the MHBS Board of Directors - postmarked  or hand delivered to MHBS Board Members - Mark "Doc" Brown or Carla Jordan no later than midnight Sunday, September 30, 2018. All submissions must meet the Blues Foundation rules. 

Here are the rules from the Blues Foundation:

Entries for the Best Self-Produced CD are permitted by Blues Foundation Affiliated Organizations only.

Each Affiliate is permitted one entry.

The CD entered may be recorded and performed by an act other than is entered in the current year’s International Blues Challenge.

Compilations are not eligible.

Only CDs released between November 1, 2017 and October 31, 2018 are eligible for consideration as The 2019 Best Self-Produced CD.

While we encourage a competition at the Affiliate level to determine the CD it will sponsor for Best Self-Produced CD, we do not require one. If an Affiliate does not conduct a competition to determine who it will sponsor but instead appoints a CD, that CD may not include a board member or officer of the sponsoring Affiliated organization.

A performer who has previously been nominated for a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Blues Award) shall not be eligible for this competition. A CD issued in the name of an otherwise eligible performer which also includes the contributions of a Blues Music Award nominee may be ineligible, depending on the extent of the contribution. Please contact The Blues Foundation directly to confirm eligibility.

A CD on a record label that has been previously nominated for a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Blues Award) shall not be eligible for this competition.

Judging will take place in three rounds. Judges will remain anonymous in order to protect them from outside influences and represent a cross-section of professionals from the blues radio and print industry. The final results will be announced at the finals of the International Blues Challenge on Saturday, January 26, 2019 held at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN.



From Barbara Newman, President of the Blues Foundation

Greetings from Barbara

Hello Blues Friends,
It's so hard for me to believe that Labor Day is just a few days away and summer is quickly coming to a close. You would never believe it based upon Memphis' 90 degree+ temperatures! Fortunately, this past weekend I had the pleasure of taking a break from the heat by attending the 20th edition of the Edmonton Blues Festival along with Blues Foundation Board Chair, Jeff Syracuse, and board members Scott Fitzke and Rich DelGrosso. The cool air was a welcomed relief and the music was hotter than the usual Memphis summer. Congratulations to Cam Hayden on 20 years of producing a stellar festival, and thanks from all of us at The Blues Foundation for your hospitality. And while we are celebrating festival milestones, please allow a shout out to Paul Benjamin and the North Atlantic Blues Festival which celebrated 25 years this past July. I just love that the blues festival circuit is thriving with fabulous music and so many blues loving attendees. 

My trip to Edmonton was my first foray out of the office on Blues Foundation business since early June. This summer, I decided to stay close to home to lean in hard on building for the future. I keep hearing positive feedback on the Blues Music Awards platform, our biggest endeavor of the summer. But I've also been working at expanding blues reach beyond the usual. I'm off to the Americana Music Association Conference in a few weeks to see Buddy Guy and Irma Thomas, both Blues Hall of Famers, each receive Americana Lifetime Achievement Awards, a statement that the blues permeates all aspects of American roots music and deserves recognition and honor. In fact, in mid-October, The Blues Foundation and Americana Music Association will be co-recipients of the generosity of Greg Williamson and UpperWest Music Group at the Across the Great Divide Benefit Concert in LA on October 19th. In addition to the financial support this benefit will provide, I am very excited to team up with our partners to shine a light on the deep connectivity between The Blues & Americana Music. Please scroll on down to see the list of fabulous performers, learn more about the event, and purchase tickets. Our entire Board of Directors will be coming to LA for this special night of music and I hope I will see you there as well. 

Of course, with October 1st just around the corner, we are gearing up for the International Blues Challenge, to be held from January 22 - 26, 2019. The entire Blues Foundation staff is moving into high gear to begin ticket sales, open hotel blocks, and have wonderful IBC merchandise ready for you to purchase. And behind the scenes we are working on the full schedule of events in addition to coordinating the challenge stages on Beale Street. Watch for more information to come, and plan on visiting on October 1st to purchase your passes, find out about hotel deals, and to check out our ever growing schedule. 

I wish you a wonderful close to your summer with hopes you put a little blues into each of your days.

Best Regards,

Many of you had a chance to see Vanessa Collier recently during her tour through Colorado. Here is a great review by Marty Gunther.

vanessa collier cd imageVanessa Collier - Honey Up

Phenix Fire Records

10 songs – 45 minutes

Don’t be fooled by the seeming youth and innocence displayed by Vanessa Collier on the cover of her latest CD. A gifted multi-instrumentalist with a powerful voice, she’s become a force, and the world’s taken notice.

If you have any doubt, just check out the nominations for the past Blues Music Awards, where her most recent release, Meeting My Shadow, was up for contemporary album of the year and where Trombone Shorty beat her out for horn player of the year.

Since graduating from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College Of Music with a double major in performance and music production and engineering five short years ago, awards and honors have come fast and furious for the dynamic saxophonist and guitarist, who fuses blues, funk, soul and rock into her show. She’s also earned first place as a lyricist in the International Songwriter's Competition, a Blues Blast Music Awards nomination and more.

Collier spent 18 months touring the world and blowing horn behind Joe Louis Walker after college before he encouraged her to go off on her own. She released her first CD, Heart, Soul & Saxophone, in 2014, the same year Dan Aykroyd named her Best Of Blues Breaker on his House Of Blues radio show, and has been wowing audiences internationally ever since with a musical sensibility far beyond her years.

She contributed sax here in addition to acoustic and resonator guitar as she delivers nine originals and one cover in a set that was recorded at Hearstudios in Camden, Maine, and Thunderbird Analog Recording Studio in Oceanside, Calif.

Guitar responsibilities are handled by Laura Chavez, one of the most in-demand musicians on the planet, and Sparky Parker with Nick Stevens on percussion and shuitar – a guitar/drum hybrid, Nick Trautmann on bass and William Gorman on keyboards. Roomful Of Blues trumpet player Doug Woolverton and trombonist Quinn Carson sit in on five cuts. And two of her former professors – Mark Wessel and Rich Mendelson – engineered, mixed and mastered the project.

“Sweatin’ Like A Pig, Singin’ Like An Angel,” the opener, stands up to its title with Collier delivering alto, tenor and soprano sax lines to form her own horn section, something she does on the first three cuts, which come across with a distinct and funky Big Easy feel. “Sweatin’” flows freely atop a medium-paced shuffle as Vanessa encourages listeners to share the joy she feels.

The tempo quickens for “Don’t Nobody Got Time To Waste,” a tongue-in-cheek pleaser with gospel overtones from the keys that urges bandmates to be early, not on time because that’ll make ‘em late – and fired! The title tune, “Honey Up,” serves up a warning to a lover that it’s time for him to man up instead of expecting the singer “to kiss your behind.”

Collier’s solo shines on the instrumental, “Percolatin’,” before she lets her sweet voice handle most of the action for “Icarus,” a jazzy retelling of the Greek myth about the boy who flew too close to the sun. The rocker “The Fault Line” features powerful horn lines and a blistering guitar solo as Vanessa wonders why she’s at odds with someone and both parties are totally unaware as to why, while “Bless Your Heart” makes use of a backhanded Southern compliment as it warns someone who wants to call her “sweetheart” or “baby” to call her by her given name or else she’ll turn on her heels and walk away without hearing what he has to say.

Vanessa kicks off “You’re A Pill” with an acapella vocal intro. It’s an interesting love song in which the singer feels weak at the knees, but can’t get enough of the medicine he delivers. “You Get What You Want” addresses a complaining boyfriend before Collier closes by reinventing Chris Smithers’ familiar “Love Me Like A Man,” breaking it down to its essence as a ballad before picking up steam slightly and seers to the end.

Available directly from multiple online retailers or directly from the artist (address above), Honey Up is a winner on all counts. Vanessa Collier is already a major force to be reckoned with – and, for her, the sky’s the limit.

Reviewer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. His first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.

Fund raiser / benefit shows are in the process of being scheduled to raise $$ to help offset the expenses of Memphis for our MHBS IBC Winners. 

If you have items such as gift certificates, CD's, T-Shirts, Hats, swag of auction quality that you'd like to donate for the silent auction please contact us at:

The Mile High Blues Society - 2019 International Blues Challenge winners are....

Deborah Stafford & the State of Affairs

Randall Dubis - Solo



The NEW MHBS hats are in!
ONLY $15 each!
Adams Cool Head, leather adjustable strap, low profile!
Green, Blue, White
Come get yours at any MHBS event HATS and SHIRTS will both be available at each IBC event and at our booth at the Blues & BBQ for Better Housing July 21.
or via our website
(shipping charges apply if ordered online)

The next BCOS event is Sunday, October 21st The Blues Children on Stage (BCOS) 2018

Sunday October 21, 2018

Rockabillies in Arvada
2pm load in / set up / sign up
BCOS Jam starts at 3pm

This is a FREE event and All Ages Are Welcome!
A HUGE thanks to Patrick and Susan DiBartolomeo
The Mile High Blues Society, Blues Children On Stage (BCOS)

A Mile High Blues Society Special Event. Blues Children on Stage - A youth showcase of musicians and singers under 21! A positive musical experience for children. Provide youth musicians & singers with an environment conducive to establishing an interest in performing live blues music. Open to all Musicians / Singers under 21 Participating instructors / teachers / mentors may also support their students on stage.

No entry fee – free for everyone – all ages welcome! Full back line will be provided. Each group will be put together during the event, just as done in a blues jam setting. Each group will play 4 or 5 songs per set and the number of sets will be based on the number of participants.

Learn as many of these songs as you can – you may be able to perform more than one set! Types of music to learn: Blues Shuffle – Jimmy Reed Country Blues Jump blues / swing Delta Blues Chicago Blues Blues Rock Slow Blues Shuffle Sample song list: Big Boss Man Crossroads Cross Cut Saw The Thrill is Gone Got My Mojo Working I’m ready Kansas City Key to the Highway Rock Me Baby Stormy Monday Shake Your Moneymaker Sweet Home Chicago Every Day I Have the Blues


The MHBS sponsored Sunday Night Blues Jam happens EVERY Sunday!

This MHBS Sponsored Blues Jam has a new home at Rockabillies 12363 West 64th Avenue (64th & Ward Road) Arvada, CO 80004

Open 11:00 a.m.
Signup for the jam as early as 6:00p.m.
Jam starts at 7:00p.m.

Hosted alternately by Doc Brown's Blues Band and Ziggies favorite hosts. 

Just like old times! Join us!  Full backline and PA provided. Feel free to bring your own amps and pedals.

Signup as early as 6pm. Jam starts at 7:00pm

August 26 - Shack and Friends with Special Guest Delores Scott from Chicago

September 9 - Randall Dubis Band
September 16 - Doc Brown's Blues Band




Our Mission: To preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form.

Greetings from Barbara

Hello Blues Friends,
January was such a busy month that my head is spinning a bit and I'm not sure where to begin. I cannot believe that February is already here. I guess the saying really is true - "time sure flies when you're having fun." And boy, are we having fun while we are working hard for this genre at The Blues Foundation.

We are now just a few weeks past the International Blues Challenge and there is still a lot of work to be done as we complete our post-production and debriefing work. Further down in this Newsletter, you can enjoy some highlights from the week.

Please allow me to congratulate not only our winners, Keeshea Pratt Band and Kevin "B.F." Burt, but also our runners up, Fuzzy Jeffries and the Kings of MemphisArtur Menezes, and Daniel Eriksen along with our Best Self-Produced CD Winner, Jontavious Willis, our Gibson Guitar Winner, Artur Menezes, and our Solo/Duo Cigar Box Guitar winner and Lee Oskar Harmonica Winner - Kevin "B.F." Burt. Now that these musicians have been internationally discovered via the IBC, watch for them at festivals and clubs around the world and listen for them on radio. I think we will be hearing a lot more from them in the future. Even as they are celebrating their IBC successes, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge every single musician who represented their local blues society in Memphis in mid-January, and we are talking about over 800 musicians in total. Each one of you who put yourself out there to compete at the local level and then won the right to stand on a Beale Street stage and perform your heart out is a winner in my book. You are investing your time and your energy to create music that matters and to share your song with music lovers who you inspire. I hope you will use your experiences at the 2018 IBC to continue developing  your craft with great hopes for the future of the blues. 

The IBC is a true labor of love and takes more than just a village to pull it off - it takes hard working and dedicated volunteers the world over to descend upon Memphis in the midst of snow, ice, and cold to make sure that musicians are checked-in, venues run on time, bands are judged fairly, scores get to the scorekeepers, passes are picked up, merchandise and cds are sold, panels and workshops offer valuable information, films are screened, memorabilia is shared, and guests are warmly welcomed. There are just too many volunteers to thank you all individually, so please allow me to publicly send a huge THANKS to everyone who gave of themselves to ensure that the IBC went off without a hitch.  The names I can and will share are The Blues Foundation Staff:  Joe Whitmer, Elizabeth Montgomery BrownAddison Hare, and Stephen Whitney, who braved the weather, denied themselves sleep, and gave 110% of themselves to ensure a successful IBC for all. I know that my three hours of sleep each night  were sound because of my trust in these four individuals. They are my rocks and I hope that each of you will thank them directly when you get the chance. Nothing that happens at The Blues Foundation would happen without them. So from me to my staff - BIG THANKS!

This is also a good time to let you know that after 5 years as an intern, production assistant, and our Membership Coordinator, Stephen Whitney has decided to use the skills he developed at The Blues Foundation to move on to new opportunities. Having recently been selected as one of The Memphis Flyer's "20 under 30," Stephen has just begun to make an impact on our community and we wish him well.  His shoes will be hard to fill, but I hope to have a replacement for him in the next few weeks, and as soon as we know who our new Membership Coordinator will be, we will send out an announcement to welcome him or her. In the meantime, if you have any membership needs, we ask that you be patient during this transition and we will be there to assist you as soon as possible. Of course, I am always just an email away if you have an urgent request. 

Just a few days ago, The GRAMMYs® announced their big winners. On behalf of The Blues Foundation, I send words of congratulations to Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' on winning Best Contemporary Blues Album for TajMo, and to The Rolling Stones on their win for Best Traditional Blues Album for Blue and Lonesome. Big congrats go out, as well, to all of the nominees in each category.  For details and the full list of GRAMMY® blues nominees and winners, please scroll down further in this Newsletter. 

And now, with the calendar turning to February, we turn our attention to the Blues Music Awards. The nominees were announced in early January and the ballot has gone out to members.  If you are not yet a member of The Blues Foundation, it is not too late to have a voice in who receives a BMA on May 10th. For as little at $25 per year, you can become a member, support the mission of The Blues Foundation, and receive a 2018 ballot. If you are a member, and have not yet voted, all you need is your login credentials and password. And if you have already voted - thank you for being a part of the process. BMA tickets are now available on The Blues Foundation's website and there are links in this Newsletter as well.  You do not have to be a nominee or a member of the blues industry to attend.  The BMAs are open to all and we encourage you to join us for the biggest night of blues music and celebration of the year. I  hope I'll see you in Memphis on May 10th.

Best Regards,

Barbara Newman







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Denver's One and Only Televised Third Friday Open Mic Variety Show

Sept 21st | 6-8pm | Denver Open Media
700 Kalamath St, Denver, Colorado 80204

FREE and Open to the public
Featured Musician: CRX/ CROSS
Featured Youth Band: Grace Kuch Band
and Featuring Scoop Nemeth's 10 Minute Fashion Show
Hosted by Jeff Young

Introducing the Grace Kuch Band, including Grace Kuch, Ethan Christi, Abe Dashnaw and Matan Birnbaum.  This band may consist of young players, but each player greatly exceeds what you'd expect from their ages.  Grace came to the band with years of experience in the blues genre, as well as being a band front-person on guitar and vocals.  Ethan's background includes African beats on the Djembe drums, as well as marching band, which transitioned easily to the full kit.  Abe's passion is in the punk genre, but his skills on bass transcend any genre.  Matan plays with ease in blues, jazz and rock on the keys.


Formed in winter of 2017, when they were brought together by a Modern Band program called the Youth Music Collective.  It brought High School musicians together to form performance bands along with workshops for songwriting, recording and many other music skills.  The group performed at the FoCoMX festival as well as two shows for the Modern Band Summit Conference at the Downtown Artery and the newly renovated Washington's in Fort Collins, CO.  


The band chemistry was immediate and Grace asked the guys if they wanted to come play some Blues with her.  They all agreed and jumped in for the wild ride performing all over Fort Collins and across the state.  Having the chance to perform at Colorado Blues Festivals in summer of 2018, including the Greeley Blues Jam and the Blues From the Top Festival. In January of 2019, they will be representing the Mile High Blues Society at the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.  

Ziggies Presents, Sunday Night Blues Jam at Rockabillies

September 16 - Doc Brown's Blues Band
September 23 - Randall Dubis Band
September 30 - Doc Brown's Blues Band
October 7 - Rob Grizzle and Friends
October 14 - Doc Brown's Blues Band
October 21 - Blues Children on Stage 1-5pm. Jam host
October 28 - Doc Brown's Blues Band

Thursday, September 20th

Paul Soderman & the Boulder Blues Club

7 – 9:30 pm

$5 Cover

Local blues all-star collective featuring Paul Soderman, Kim Stone, Daryl Smith, Robb Candler, James Torres and Jay Forrest.





Every Friday - Open Mic 7pm to 10pm

Scott "SHACK" Hackler will be playing solo EVERY MONDAY NIGHT
at Morrison Holiday Bar, 6:00-10:00. This will run until football season.

The Custom Shop Band


Lincoln Station, Lonetree, Colorado

Dannik's Gunbarrel Corner Bar



ZIGGIES  PRESENTS - Band Management & Promotion


Mile High Blues Society
P. O. Box 12464
Denver, Colorado 80212-2464

The Mile High Blues Society Store is Open for Business! You can order one of our very cool, high quality MHBS T-shirts. Prompt shipment via USPS Priority Mail. Show your colors; visit the store HERE

Are you a blues player looking for a gig, or a band looking for a player? Post a message in the Gig Zone! It's the best way to get hooked up with the right people in the Denver blues scene. Check it out.

Membership has its benefits!  You will receive the "Blues Insider" newsletter, with news and reviews.  Members get a discount on tickets to shows and invitations to members-only events presented by The Mile High Blues Society, among other perks.  As a MHBS member you will be a strong supporter and advocate for local blues.  

Membership starts at only $15,  Please 
click here to get started.


Business Members

303 Blues Project



Lincoln Station Coffee/Pizza/Music

9360 Station St. #175,
Lone Tree, Colorado 80124

The Oriental  Theater


3355 South Wadsworth Blvd
Lakewood, CO 80227

(303) 980-6200

DrumCity - GuitarLand
9225 W. 44th. Ave.
Wheat Ridge, Colorado USA 80033
Phone: 303-421-4515, 303-424-9393

Lil Devils

Westminster Brewing Company








Ziggies Presents

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