Mile High Blues Society

MHBS 2020 International Blues Challenge

Get ready! We're making plans for the Mile High Blues Society's 2020 International Blues Challenge

Who is going to Memphis to represent Colorado and the Mile High Blues Society next year!

Stay tuned for details.

If you are interested in participating in the challenge remember that all acts, Youth Showcase, Band, or Solo/Duo must have a BAND MEMBERSHIP with the Mile High Blues Society.

Join here!

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!


We Support Live Local Blues
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! 

We are in our Annual Membership Drive / Renewal Campaign - so if your membership has expired please consider renewing to help us keep the Blues alive in Colorado. You can renew from the link below or via the instructions if your receive our renewal email notice!

Thank you for supporting live blues!


BCOS is back! Blues Children on Stage! June 9th at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids in Longmont!

Sunday, June 9th, on the outdoor stage, weather permitting. Spread the word! All youth musicians are welcome to come out and play some live blues!


Grace-ful blues: Young Fort Collins teen brings new life to old-style music

Photo credit: Ruth Spicer Grace Kuch performing at the 2018 King Biscuit Blues Festival


By Steve Graham

One of the most respected blues musicians in Colorado is Grace Kuch, a 15-year-old homeschooled Fort Collins girl.

This year, the Mile High Blues Society sent Kuch to the International Blues Challenge, the world’s largest blues conference, which takes place over a week in January with workshops and, of course, plenty of live jams and showcases on Memphis’ legendary Beale Street.

“It’s all of your best music friends in a two-block radius,” Grace said in an interview in her Old Town Fort Collins living room. The room is filled with musical instruments, even though she is pretty much the only person who plays all the guitars, basses, mandolins and pianos in the house.

“She’s far surpassed my musical abilities,” said her mother, Jill. Grace’s grandfather was a guitarist, but neither of her parents play music. However, they support Grace’s career. Jill is her homeschool teacher, driver, chaperone and manager.

“A lot of our friends think we’re crazy,” Jill said.

She said Grace is gradually taking over more of her own management and booking. They both travel so often for gigs and festivals that a traditional school schedule does not work.

Grace practices a variety of musical styles, but she is really hooked on the blues. She has a passion for blues scales and chords, but she also loves the camaraderie among blues musicians, which she noticed at her first blues festival.

“I saw how amazing the blues community could be,” she said. “Everyone was super-supportive and helped me reach the next level.”

Grace mostly plays covers, but she has been working with Mary Claxton at the Music District on her songwriting.

“In this community, especially, we’re very lucky to be here because there are numerous opportunities all the time to learn and play,” Jill said.

Grace also has had opportunities to learn and play all over the country, including the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Ark., and a music camp in Big Indian, N.Y., where she met and played with members of the Allman Brothers and the North Mississippi Allstars.

“She has worked with so many different mentors in different aspects,” Jill said.

Her next goal is mastering the bass guitar. She is studying bass in June at the Pinetop Perkins masterclass in Mississippi in June.

Grace leads two distinct bands. She has a collective of other high school students that got together about a year ago. They play youth showcases that only accept musicians younger than 18.

For three years, she also has fronted a larger band of older musicians. Drummer David Osborne put together the group. He had been on hiatus from music but was inspired to pick up the sticks again after seeing Grace play a local show.

“They do it for the love of playing,” Jill said.

While they see Grace as the leader of the band, she said they also give her honest feedback, and she appreciates it. Both bands also help broaden Grace’s musical horizons.

“Because of all the different influences that her bandmates have, they have been playing music forever, and they are feeding her songs all the time and seeing what sticks,” Jill said.

She added that Grace is a quick learner and is constantly expanding her repertoire.

“She finds these gems and something will speak to her, and she’ll learn it like that,” Jill said, snapping her fingers.

For Grace, it all has to come back to the blues.

“I’m going to play the blues as long as I play music,” Grace said. “I don’t know if it will be strictly blues. I might venture into other areas of music but I know there will definitely be a blues influence on whatever I play.”

Jill noted that blues music encompasses a wide variety of styles.

“The (blues) umbrella is wide, and many people that don’t know the genre think it’s just the old bluesman, but there’s a huge genre especially with the progressive blues right now,” she said.

Grace is finding her niche and perfecting her style without pushing herself or her career too quickly.

“I don’t want to play a whole bunch of shows and burn myself out before I turn 21,” Grace said. “By then, I will have been in the music business for a long time but still pretty young, so I don’t want to push too hard and burn me out or burn other people out on me. I want to play and be in the community and have people see me but not push too much.”

She also is excited to remain part of the Fort Collins music scene.

“For the most part, it’s a really loving community,” Grace said. “You can work together to get through life through music. It’s not all perfect, but it’s a really nice way to connect with people on a different level.”


This has been a troubling week for the Colorado Blues Community. We have lost two great performers this week who gave a lot of flavor, flare, dance, and talent to our community. 

Mostly Joe Hawkins / aka Ellington J. James / aka his real name: Lynn Chatwin


James H."Man of Steele" Steele Jr. - poet, blues dancer, performer. 


Tribute and Celebration of Life for 
James H."Man of Steele" Steele Jr. - poet, blues dancer, performer. 

Third Friday Open Mic | 6pm | Denver Open Media
700 Kalamath St.Denver, CO 80204

"Man of Steele", James H. Steele Jr. tribute tonight at Denver Open Media. Ironically, Jim was the scheduled performer for this months live broadcast performance. Jim was the victim of a hit and run in downtown Denver last week and unfortunately died from his injuries. Please join us to celebrate the Man of Steele.
Jim was well known in the Blues Community for his love of blues dancing. He was also a great poet and performer. 

MEMORIAL for Mostly Joe Hawkins / Ellington J. James
Memorial Jam and celebration of Life for Mostly Joe Hawkins/ Ellington J. James,
on Sunday April 28, at the Pourhouse Bar and Grill in Loveland starting at 4:00

 Mostly Joe passed away last week - he was one of those fun, crazy, talented, story telling hosts of the jams at Ziggies back when!

He alway engaged the fans, the dancers, and especially the performers. We used to joke about how he would take his guitar into the mens room to tune it! He said it just sounded better in there!

Don Finan has set up a memorial / jam to celebrate the life of Mostly Joe with the details below.

The celebration of life musical event (Sunday, April 28 at 4:00 pm) for Mostly Joe Hawkins / Ellington J. James / Lynn Chatwin. All musicians and friends are welcome. If you would like to perform or to join a blues jam, a backline will be provided (guitar amps, bass amp, drums, PA, microphones). People will certainly have the ability to share a story or some words about Mostly Joe as well. We will do our best to accommodate all who would like to speak, perform, or jam. Certainly all are welcome. Please share this information.

This memorial musical celebration of life will be the only Colorado service for Mostly Joe / Ellington J. James / Lynn Chatwin. Some of his out of state relatives will be attending. 

Also, we will be accepting donations for the Blue Star Connection at the event, as Mostly's enthusiastic support and encouragement for local musicians fits so well with the work of this charity. 

Depending on how many performers/speakers that attend, performances may be limited to 1-2 songs so that we can accommodate as many people as we can. You don't need to RSVP to perform, but it would be helpful to get some estimate of how many people would like to participate - feel free to comment here or to send a message my way if you'd like. Even if you don't let me know about performing or attending, you are more than welcome to attend and to perform - Don Finan

This MHBS Sunday Blues Jam

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 MHBS Member Bands

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

This Sunday - Easter Sunday - Clay Jarvis Band



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2019 is a special year for Swallow Hill Music… We’re turning 40! The past four decades have been incredible. Stay tuned for an anniversary concert series, archival footage from years gone by, and so much more! Thanks for being a part of the Swallow Hill community as we look forward to many more years of bringing the joy of music to life every day. 

Easter Sunday - Clay Jarvis Band




4/19 - Berthoud Brewing // Berthoud, CO. (Solo)

4/20 - Mishawaka Amphitheater // Bellvue, CO. (Solo)

4/30 - Little Bear // Evergreen, CO. (Solo)
           *with Erik Stucky


Third Friday - April 19th
Open Mic - streamed live
6 to 8pm
700 Kalamath, Denver. 
Celebration of life for Jim "Man of Steele" Steele, Jr.


Mad Dog Trio
Broken Plow Brewery - Greeley
Friday, April 19th - 7pm




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






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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