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!





Congratulations to Cass Clayton!
Mike Metlay, Editor of RECORDING Magazine, interviewed Cass Clayton and Geoff Gray, owner and master engineer at Far and Away Studios in Boulder, CO.  Mike took a deep dive on the recording techniques used in the studio, which are featured in their Feb. issue below. By the way, Mike Metlay is probably the only person who could have written an article of this depth (you’ll see what we mean). He’s a PhD in nuclear physics (no kidding), and doesn’t tend to skim the surface of any subject.


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

February 17 - 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,
Well, it's less than one week post-IBC, and as we reflect on a wonderful blues week past, we are forging ahead towards more blues celebrations to come. 

First, let me encourage you to read through this entire newsletter so you don't miss our IBC wrap up - with photos and information on another great International Blues Challenge. Each year, this event grows in stature and reach. While we witnessed our blues societies directing energy towards single entrants this year, meaning fewer total acts, the number of industry leaders, blues musicians, and fans grew, and opportunities for networking and community-building expanded. I heard stories all week long about challengers who booked gigs, found business partners, and grew their fan base, irrespective of where they landed in the challenge, itself. And this is exactly what the IBC is all about.

I was also overjoyed to see that the educational activities we offered were well-attended and well-received. From Master Classes in electric and slide guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, and vocals to industry panels on festival creation, industry trends,  and money streams in the music business; from film to book signings to our Keynote Panel on Race and The Blues - everywhere I turned, IBC attendees were taking advantage of our offerings. We are now inspired to keep the train running and are already considering how we build upon these successes next year. Special thanks to all of our teachers, panelists, lecturers, and mentors. 

You will also be excited to know that we had young blues musicians up and down Beale Street as part of our Youth Showcase. We stepped things up for the kids (and their parents) this year too, with mentoring for parent-managers and individualized lessons for the kids followed by band instruction all coordinated by the Pinetop Perkins Foundation. Thanks to our youth teachers and those who spent time in the clubs evaluating our youth performers - giving them strong feedback and positive reinforcement to help them grow as musicians. 

Congratulations of course to Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start (St. Louis Blues Society) and Jon Shain (Triangle Blues Society), our grand winners in the Band and Solo/Duo Divisions; to Gibson Guitar Award Winner, Gabe Stillman (Billtown Blues Association), Memphis Cigar Box Guitar Winner, Steve Strongman (Grand River Blues Society), and Lee Oskar Harmonica Award Winner, Darryl Carriere from the Celso Salim Band (Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society), and to the winner of the Best Self-Produced CD, for Lock Up the Liquor – The Little Red Rooster Blues Band (Central Delaware Blues Society). I extend congrats as well to all of our finalists and, in fact, to every musician who made it through your local challenge to win a spot in the 35th IBC. Of course, I must acknowledge all of our judges, venue coordinators, time keepers, and other volunteers. We could not pull off this event without the hundreds of volunteers who give their time and talent to The Blues Foundation during this week. 

And now, on to what's to come!

Next week, I head to Los Angeles for the Grammys® where The Blues Foundation is partnering with Folk Alliance International and the International Bluegrass Music Association by hosting a Grammy® party on February 9th to celebrate the nominees in all of the American Roots Categories. I'll then make my way to Montreal for FAI's annual conference where The Blues Foundation will sponsor and host their Official Blues Showcase with talent to include Rory Block, Harrison Kennedy, Shakura S'aidi, Mike Biggar, Jordan Officer, and John Kay. All of this outreach is intended to bring a wider audience to the blues and to open doors across the industry for this genre. 

In the midst of this travel and outreach, our Blues Foundation team is already gearing up for the 40th Blues Music Awards, to be held on May 9, 2019. If you have not purchased your tickets or reserved your room, I encourage you to do so soon.  Our host hotel is filling up and tickets are going fast. You will not want to miss this special evening where we celebrate the best in blues recording and performance from the past year.  I know it is going to be an exciting evening of blues performances by some of the best in the business. 

And finally - I hope you have received information about our newest fundraising campaign - Bricks for the Blues. For as little as $250 you can donate a brick, inscribed with your personal message, as part of the new front walkway to the Blues Hall of Fame Museum. Funds from this campaign will help us with the work we do to fulfill our mission and will give you a permanent connection to this music we all love.

I enjoyed visiting with so many of you in Memphis last week and look forward to seeing more of you on my journeys this spring and on May 9th, here in Memphis, for the Blues Music Awards.

Best regards,


The 35th International Blues Challenge held it's finale on SaturdayJanuary 26th,
at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Memphis, TN.

Congratulations to all winners, finalists, and challengers!

Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start (St. Louis Blues Society)

Sammy Eubanks & The Work'in Class (Washington Blues Society)

Celso Salim Band (Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society)


Jon Shain (Triangle Blues Society)

Theresa Malenfant & Scott Medford (East Coast Blues Society)

GIbson Guitar Award
Gave Stillman
(Billtown Blues Association)

Memphis Cigar Box Award
Steve Strongman
(Grand River Blues Society)

Lee Oskar Harmonica Award
Darryl Carriere
Celso Salim Band
(Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society)

Best Self-Produced CD Award
Lock Up The Liquor
The Little Red Rooster Band
(Central Delaware Blues Society)


While the judges' scores were being tabulated, we surprised our crowd of approximately 2,000 people with an amazing IBC All-Star Jam. Blues Music Award Winner and previous IBC Band Winner, Jonn Del Toro Richardson assembled an illustrious group of performers. Thank you to Jonn, Russell JacksonTony BraunagelKenny Neal, Jimmy CarpenterShakura S'aida, Terrie OdabiAnnika Chambers, Thornetta Davis, Ben Rice, and Marquise Knox, for keeping IBC attendees entertained while waiting for the results!


Enjoy these highlights from our eventful IBC week!

The IBC opening night kickoff was held on Beale Street with International Showcase performances in clubs up and down this iconic Street. The 35th year of this international blues gathering brought together 15 countries!

The week continued with Quarter and Semi-Finals. Close to 200 acts and more than 800 musicians competed and showcased on Beale Street. Youth showcases, benefit jams, all-star jams, and more - the music played on all night.

Youth Showcases were held on Friday before Semi-Finals began. Over 25 of our affiliated blues societies from 5 countries had youth acts represented!

In addition to each night's challenge performances, the days were filled with events that connected musicians to mentors, free health screenings, welcomed conversation on the relation of blues music and race, and honored those keeping the blues alive behind the scenes.

Master Classes were offered to all musicians who were looking to improve upon their instrument skills. 

Specialized Youth Workshops were offered to youth showcase participants through the Pinetop Perkins Foundation.


IBC Panels and Educational Activities

Keynote PanelThe Blues and Race • Moderated by Noelle Trent, PhD. (National Civil Rights Museum); Panelists: Jim O'NealTeeny TuckerBobby Rush, and Marquise Knox

Musician Workshop: Find Me The Money - Income Streams in the Music Industry
Panelists: Eric Corne (Forty Below Records), Rick Booth (Intrepid Artist), JeffDeLia (72 Music Management), and Bruce Newman (Newman, DeCoster)

The HART Fund sponsored two free Health Fairs during the week for IBC Musicians. Among the offered services were screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, hepatitis C, and more, plus MusiCares® was on site providing custom ear-mold fittings.

2019 Keeping the Blues Alive Award Recipients: Atlanta Blues Society, Blues Alive Festival, Capitol Oyster Bar, Croatian Blues Forces, Hans Ekestang, Jesse Finkelstein, Sarah French, Jean Guillermo, Tom Hyslop, Don Ottensman, and Bob Trenchard

A full week of events celebrating the best in blues. We hope to see you in 2020!






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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. 




Third Friday - The Love Edition
Open Mic - streamed live
Friday, February 15, 2019 from 6 to 8pm
700 Kalamath, Denver. 

Deborah Stafford & the State of Affairs
Friday, February 15 - 8:30pm
Avogadro's Number · Fort Collins


The Tuffenuffs

Sat, Feb 16th @ 7:30 pm

No Cover. The Tuffenuffs are dynamic duo featuring stellar vocalist Stacey Turpenoff and decorated keyboardist/vocalist Danny Haynes. Carleton Pike on drums. 



Paul Soderman & the Boulder Blues Club

Thurs, Feb 21st @ 7 pm

No Cover. Rule #1 of Dannik's: Never Miss a Third Thursday. Paul Soderman & the Boulder Blues Club take over Dannik's on the third Thursday of every month! 

Mad Dog Blues Duo
Sat, Feb 23rd @ 7:30 pm
No Cover. 
The Mad Dog Blues Duo is an acoustic blues duo featuring Stevie D on guitar and Mad Dog Friedman on harmonica and vocals.

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





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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