Colorado Blues PT 2 – 21st Century Award Winners and Future Legends

In my last post, Blues in Colorado – A Primer, I suggested that most of the blues bands that we see today are of the local garden variety – good enough to please the upper end of suburban GenZ and Boomers with their small kids and grandkids at parks and summer events, and local neighborhood bar and grills.

But that doesn’t really tell the whole story about the state of blues in the 21st century in Colorado and the award winners and future legends who have emerged, regardless of mainstream popularity.

The 21st century opens with Erica Brown emerging in the scene as the First Lady of Blues (Colorado Blues Society) and Denver’s Queen of the Blues (Altitude Network).

Between 1998 and 2008, the Erica Brown Band earned numerous awards, including; Best Blues Band (Westword Magazine) Best Underground Blues Band multiple times (Denver Post) and The Rocky Mountain News’ Best Of (Blues Category).

Among the many projects she appears on, Erica is featured on Big Head Blues ClubWay Down Inside: The Songs of Willie Dixon” (2016). She began appearing with Dan Treanor in 2008.

A Blues Foundation: Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipient, Dan Treanor is a Colorado original. Born and raised in Pueblo, Dan entered the blues world when he was sixteen, playing in the Steel City Blues Band.

In 2004, he got signed to the well respected independent blues label Northern Blues Music. Dan Treanor & Frankie Lee – African Wind (2004) was nominated Blues Album of the Year by the Independent Music Awards.  Dan has received three Independent Music Award nominations.

In 2013, Dan Treanor’s Afrosippi Band featuring Erica Brown took home 3rd Place Honors in the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis. In 2015 they released Born to Love the Blues, which also features Erica’s daughter MJ.

Lionel Young first appears on the scene in the early to mid 90s and is featured on Otis Taylor‘s 1997 debut When Negroes Walked the Earth.

It wouldn’t be until the 21st century, however, that the classically trained violinist comes to the attention of the blues world by making history at the International Blues Challenge (IBC), as the only artist to ever win twice, in the 2008 solo-duo competition and the 2011 band competition.

Cary Morin first showed up on stages in Fort Collins in the 1980s with his band the Atoll.

Now recognized as one of the nation’s leading acoustic blues artists, Cary has performed at renowned venues and festivals around the globe including the Kennedy Center, the Paris Jazz Festival and the Copenhagen Blues Festival to name a few.

Cary’s career in Colorado ranks among the most awarded. He’s been honored with the Fort Collins Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2014) and is a Telluride Blues and Brews Blues Champion (2019).

Cary has also earned Indigenous Music Awards for Best Blues CD for Cradle to the Grave (2017) and for When I Rise (2019) and an Independent Music Award for Best Blues CD for When I Rise.

Colorado Springs artist John-Alex Mason passed away at the age of 35, in October 2011, but not without leaving a lasting legacy as one of the state’s most celebrated bluesmen. In 2001 he won the Telluride Acoustic Blues Competition. He released five albums between 2000 and 2011.

The Informants / Kerry Pastine & the Crime Scene – Fronted by Kerry Pastine, the Informants fans voted the band as the winner of the Westword Music Award for Best Blues (2008-2010). Their album Crime Scene Queen won the International Blues Competition for Best Self-Produced CD of 2010.

Kerry and her husband Paul (guitar) spun off from the Informants to create the Crime Scene. They earned the 2019 Colorado Blues Society Members Choice Award for Band of the Year, Best Recording for City of Love, Best Female Vocalist, Best Songwriter and Best Live Moment for the City of Love CD release party.

With six albums to their credit since 2004, the modern electric blues inspired Mojomama has been a semi-finalist at the International Blues Challenge Memphis (2018, 2019) and won several awards from the Colorado Blues Society, including Best Self Produced CD and Favorite Female Vocalist (2015, 2018) and the Members Choice Awards for Best Band in 2019.

The acts I mentioned above represent only a handful of the many blues acts that have crossed the stages of Colorado, from the smallest pubs to the biggest festivals. Upcoming festivals include the Trinidaddio Blues Fest (Aug 22), and the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival (Sept 16-18).

Touring artists like Cary Morin and Lionel Young act as ambassadors of Colorado blues around the United States, and in other countries.

Erica Brown continues to play a major role in our blues scene today, as does Lionel Young who Erica has teamed up with in a new project called Blues Circus – that also features Erica’s daughter MJ along with John Magnie and Steve Amadee from Del Shamen that Erica participated in.

Time will tell when, where and how far the next group of blues artists in Colorado music history will rise up to claim their place – in Colorado Blues PT3 – Rising Stars and Future Promise.

To learn more about the blues in Colorado visit the Colorado Blues Society and Mile High Blues Society.

CP S15 EP25 2021

Monday June 21, 2021 — Happy first day of summer, officially and happy Father’s Day (yesterday). One of the things I’ve been working on doing is learning where and when you’re listening to this show. If you haven’t answered the poll I put up last week I’d appreciated it if you did.

Speaking of polls … every week I post up the MMMM with your chance to let me know if you like the new songs or not. It’s kinda sorta important because the annual listener poll is based on on your responses. Bands that flood the polls with positive responses are known and accounted for.

This week’s MMMM includes the latest from Slow Caves who should easily pick up post-COVID, along with a new soul single from Boulder’s Dechen Hawk and the debut of Bryan Gisburne, who spent most of the past twenty years in the wilderness. (Bryan’s album was serviced to media by Rocky Mountain Music Network LLC, the parent company of the Colorado Playlist).

Two of this week’s TOP 5 #COMUSIC spins are from artists and bands with members who WERE physically living in CO but no longer do so …

John Grant, formerly of the Denver based band the Czars, now lives in Iceland and leads this week’s TOP 5.

Speaking of former Colorado resident musicians, Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon and Great American Taxi) and Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi) make the TOP 5 with the High Hawks debut that also includes Colorado musicians Brian Adams (Great American Taxi) and Will Trask (Jaden Carlson Band, Arthur Lee Land) along with honorary Coloradoan Tim Carbone. Vince now lives in Nashville and Chad lives in Wisconsin.

Dressy Bessy hits the TOP 5 in its first week on the airwaves. John and Tammy decided to release the single independently, telling me they didn’t have a new album ready for their label and wanted to get something out for their fans.

Middle Class Rock Star is a podcast hosted by  Andy Sydow.  Every week or so I feature a 7 to 8 minute segment featuring  a conversation Andy has with some of our scene’s top music makers and industry personalities. This week’s guest is Reno Divorce front-man Brent Loveday

TOP FIVE WK END JUNE 19 2021

  1. JOHN GRANT – Boy From Michigan LP (Mar-21)
  2. WEST SIDE JOE & THE MEN OF SOUL – Keep On Climbin’ LP (Apr-21)
  3. CARY MORIN – Dockside Saints LP (Jul-20)
  4. DRESSY BESSY – I’m Still Here SINGLE (Jun-21)
  5. THE HIGH HAWKS – Talk About That LP (Nov-20)

TOP 5 and TOP 30 charts are pulled from published spins at 13 Colorado non-profit community/public and college radio stations.  Designed to benefit non-commercial public and college radio stations, record promoters and artists are among those most likely to benefit from the detailed search function.

Currently 11 Colorado radio stations utilize Spinitron.

The Mishawaka is a legendary music venue, restaurant and bar located 13.7 miles up the Poudre Canyon Highway (CO 14) in the stunning Poudre Canyon in Bellvue, CO.  SEE SHOW LINEUP

PLEASE VISIT OUR SPONSORS
SUPPORT COLORADO MUSIC

MONDAY MORNING MUSIC MEETING (MMMM)

HOUR 1

Chicago (f. Beach Boys) – Wishing You Were Here – Chicago VII (1974)
(D) Nathaniel Rateliff – Mavis – Live at Red Rocks / September 20, 2020 (2021)

Daniel Rodriguez – Colorado – Sojurn of a Burning Sun (2020)
Trout Steak Revival – I Am – Spirit to the Sea (2017)
Five Iron Frenzy – Renegades – Until This Shakes Apart (2021)
Duke JusticeThe Turn (2021)
Dianne Reeves – Testify – Bridges (1999)
Freddi Henchi Band – I Love You Baby (f. Larry Wilkens) – Freddi Henchi Band (1981)
(D) Bryan Gisburne – Lord I’m Gone – Midwinter (2021)

Chimney Choir – An Alternate Life – (light shadow) (2020)
Churchill – Change – Change EP (2012)
Jason Klobnak – My August Auburn – Friends and Family (2018)

HOUR 2

Mojo Nixon – I’m In Love with Your Girlfriend – Mojo & Skid (1985)
(D) Dechen Hawk Lady Devine (2021)

Fifty Dollar Friend – Not Thinking About You – In Black and White (2020)
Megan Burtt – Restless – The Bargain (2015)
The Barlow – Hard Livin’ – Horseshoe Lounge (2021)
Reno Divorce – Hopeless and Dopeless – Live In Berlin (2021)
Brent Loveday & the Dirty Dollars – Shut Up and Drive – Hymns for the Hardened (2019)
(D) Slow CavesBefore I Leave (2021)

The Still Tide – Give Me Time – Run Out (2017)
Achille Lauro – Lightning – Flight or Flight (2012)
Brian Claxton – The Yard – The Yard (2020)

COLORADO TOP 30 JAN 2021

FEB 02 2021 – It was a great month for new Colorado music at non-commercial community/public and college radio around the state.  Eleven titles debuted, and nine titles stayed in the top thirty for another month.  Of course, Nathaniel Rateliff‘s It’s Still Alright stayed in there, as did Dockside Saints from Cary Morin which jumps up to #1.

Most added for January goes to BUD BRONSON & THE GOOD TIMERSManifest Destiny debuting at #2. Propelled by the single “Life Is A Highway (To Hell)” (links to Spotify) both 105.5 The Colorado Sound and Indie 102.3 gave it significant love for the month.  It’s a good old school solid rocker, with blazing guitar playing.

Caitlin Cannon‘s TrashCannonAlbum makes a rather surprising return appearance at the top of the charts after being off for several months, landing at #3.   It’s one of the “best of” Americana-country albums from 2020.


The Colorado Playlist is provided to member stations at no cost.  Your support is deeply appreciated.  Your support will help to keep the program on the air.


Are you a working musician in Colorado, or a soundperson, stage hand, etc employed pre-COVID but seriously struggling to pay for rent, utilities or food?

Rocky Mountain Music Relief can’t meet all your needs, but we can offer some help. There’s an application at the bottom of the page.


Spinitron  Designed to benefit non-commercial public and college radio stations. Record promoters and artists are among those most likely to benefit from the detailed search function. Currently 11 Colorado radio stations utilize Spinitron.

TOP 30 TITLES JANUARY 2020

  • ALL TITLES LINKED TO RESPECTIVE YOUTUBE PAGE
  • (xx) = DECEMBER  2020 position
  • 250 titles / 13 stations tracked

(7) 1. CARY MORIN – Dockside Saints LP (Jul-20)
(D) 2. BUD BRONSON & THE GOOD TIMERSManifest Destiny EP (Dec-20) *links to Spotify*
(-) 3. CAITLIN CANNONThe TrashCannonAlbum LP (May-20)
(9) 4. ALRIGHT ALRIGHT – Crucible LP (Dec-20)
(D) 5. XIUHTEZCATLRunway Tapes LP (Oct-20)
(9) 6. GASOLINE LOLLIPOPS – All the Misery Money Can Buy LP (Sep-20)
(-) 7. DANIEL RODRIGUEZSojurn of the Burning Sun LP (Jun-20)
(D) 7. IMMIGRANT’S CHILDImmigrant’s Child EP (Nov-20)
(D) 7. JESS PARSONSHear Me Calling EP (Jan-21)
(D) 7. KATIRIAMientes SINGLE (Dec-20)
(1) 7. NATHANIEL RATELIFF – And It’s Still Alright LP (Feb-20)
(-) 7. RON MILESRainbow Sign LP (Oct-20)
(D) 8. HEINWAHEINWA: At Home with Her Greatest Hits EP (Sep-20)
(11) 9. DEL SHAMEN – DEL SHAMEN LP (Oct-20)
(D) 10. JON SNODGRASSBuddies II: Still Buddies EP (Nov-20)
(D) 11. INGRID ANDRESSLadylike LP (Mar-20)
(D) 12. WALLYShimmer / Sometimes I Do SINGLE (Oct-20)
(-) 13. BISON BONEFind Your Way Out LP (Jul-20)
(-) 13. JON SNODGRASSTace LP (Aug-20)
(D) 14. ANDY EPPLERBroke-Down Deluxe LP (Nov-20)
(11) 14. MUSKETEER GRIPWEED – More Than Ever LP (Oct-20)
(18) 15. GABRIELLE LOUISE – The Unending Alteration of the Human Heart LP (May-20)
(-) 15. JOHNNY & THE MONGRELSCreole Skies LP (Jul-20)
(-) 16. DOWN TIMEHurts Being Alive LP (Mar-20)
(D) 17. SOUTH OF FRANCEHideaway SINGLE (Dec-20)
(-) 17. THE WOOD BROTHERSKingdom In My Mind LP (Jan-20)
(-) 18. DRAGONDEERAll Day SINGLE (Mar-20)
(-) 18. TENNISSwimmer LP (Feb-20)
(11) 18. WHITEWATER RAMBLEPseudonymous LP (Feb-20)
(3) 19. BLAKK MANTRA – Welcome to El Rey Blvd EP (Sep-20)

CP S15 EP04 2021

Jan 25 2021 – It blows my mind that we’re this close to the end of January already.  I wasn’t able to generate a TOP 5 spins chart for last week, so this week’s TOP 5 is basically two weeks worth of spins.  Cary Morin continues to top the chart, with Bud Bronson & the Good Timers moving up to the #2 spot this week.

As you may know, I founded Rocky Mountain Music Relief to help out in times just like now. I know how hard things are.  Mortgage, utilities, transportation and food are just a few of the things that need attending to.  If you truly are in need, please reach out.  www.rockymountainmusicrelief.org

Middle Class Rock Star is a podcast hosted by  Andy Sydow.  Every week or so I feature a 7 to 8 minute segment featuring  a conversation Andy has with some of our scene’s top music makers and industry personalities.

TOP FIVE WEEK ENDING JAN 23 2021

Spinitron  Designed to benefit non-commercial public and college radio stations. Record promoters and artists are among those most likely to benefit from the detailed search function. Currently 11 Colorado radio stations utilize Spinitron.

1. CARY MORIN – Dockside Saints LP (Jul-20)
2. BUD BRONSON & THE GOOD TIMERS – Manifest Destiny EP (Dec-20)
3. ALRIGHT ALRIGHTCrucible LP (Dec-20)
4. HEINWAHEINWA: At Home with Her Greatest Hits EP (Sep-20)
5. XIUHTEZCATL – Runway Tapes LP (Oct-20)

MONDAY MORNING MUSIC MEETING (MMMM)

The Mishawaka is a legendary music venue, restaurant and bar located 13.7 miles up the Poudre Canyon Highway (CO 14) in the stunning Poudre Canyon in Bellvue, CO.  CURRENTLY OPEN FOR DINING.

A REMINDER:  Please listen to ALL of the songs and rate them.  Thanks🙂

(D) = debut LP/EP or single
(N) = new track from previously debuted LP/EP
(P) = Colorado Playlist premier / not available online

HOUR 1

Starwood – Burnin’ Over You – Starwood (1977)
(D) Paul WhitacreFind the Light (2021)

Jeremy Facknitz – Little Devils – From Those Sweet Ashes (2020)
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – My Last Black Scarf – Unentitled (2011)
(D) RetrofettePhotogenic (2021)

Chimney Choir – An Alternate Life – (light shadow) (2020)
Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Train Home – Love Runner (2014)
Paul Galaxy and the Galactix – Lunar Swing – Slingshot (2004)
(D) Fresh Fruit!Fancy Limousine (2021)

The BurroughsLove and Unity (2020)
Five Iron Frenzy – Boomerang – Between Pavement and Stars (2015)
Jeff Jenkins Organization – Heavy Eddie – The Arrival (2015)

HOUR 2

Freddi Henchi Band – Welcome to the Freddi & Henchi Party / Get Up Off the Funk – Freddi Henchi Band (1981)
(D) Kind Hearted Stranger – The Egoist – East-West (2021)

Ingrid Andress – More Hearts Than Mine – Lady Like (2020)
Kyle Emerson – Worth It – Dorothy Alice (2017)
Caitlin Cannon – Drink Enough – The TrashCannon Album (2020)
(D) ELLSWORTHGrowing Pains (2021)

The String Cheese Incident – Get To You (W. Lyle Divinsky) – SCI Sound Lab Radio EP (2019)
Dan Treanor – From African Soul – Mercy (2005)
Johnny & The Mongrels – Music Man – Creole Skies (2020)
Gogolab – Honey Trap – Border Patrol (2013)

THIS WEEK ON YOUTUBE

 

CP S15 EP02 2021

Jan 11 2021 – What a difference a week makes.  The WEEKLY TOP 5 is all new this week, with Nathaniel Rateliff finally falling out of the TOP 10.  Cary Morin re-enters at #2 with Colorado roots supergroup Del Shamen at #1.  Alt punk-rockers Bud Bronson & the Good Timers enter the TOP 5 this week with newcomers Jess Parsons and XIUHTEZCATL

Over the past few weeks I’ve been pushing Stay At Home Silent Disco #2  presented by Tyler, The Creative (not the rap artist) on behalf of Rocky Mountain Music Relief, Inc – a CO 501c3 non-profit dedicated to helping our community.  We raised over $3000 to help in the cause.

Are you a working professional member of the Colorado music community?  I am also.  As you may know, I founded Rocky Mountain Music Relief to help out in times just like now. I know how hard things are.  Mortgage, utilities, transportation and food are just a few of the things that need attend4ing to.  If you truly are in need, please reach out.  www.rockymountainmusicrelief.org

Middle Class Rock Star is a podcast hosted by  Andy Sydow.  Every week or so I feature a 7 to 8 minute segment featuring  a conversation Andy has with some of our scene’s top music makers and industry personalities.  This week’s guest is Cary Morin.  

TOP FIVE WEEK ENDING JAN 09 2021

Spinitron  Designed to benefit non-commercial public and college radio stations. Record promoters and artists are among those most likely to benefit from the detailed search function. Currently 11 Colorado radio stations utilize Spinitron.

1. DEL SHAMEN Del Shamen LP (Oct-20)
2. CARY MORINDockside Saints LP (Jul-20)
3. JESS PARSONSHear Me Calling EP (Jan-21)
4. BUD BRONSON & THE GOOD TIMERSManifest Destiny EP (Dec-20)
4. XIUHTEZCATLRunway Tapes LP (Oct-20)

MONDAY MORNING MUSIC MEETING (MMMM)

The Mishawaka is a legendary music venue, restaurant and bar located 13.7 miles up the Poudre Canyon Highway (CO 14) in the stunning Poudre Canyon in Bellvue, CO.  CURRENTLY OPEN FOR DINING.

A REMINDER:  Please listen to ALL of the songs and rate them.  Thanks🙂

(D) = debut LP/EP or single
(N) = new track from previously debuted LP/EP
(P) = Colorado Playlist premier / not available online

HOUR 1

Dean Reed Once Again (1960)
Dean ReedI Ain’t Got You (1960)
(D) Deborah Stafford & Robert JohnsonWhy Can’t We Live Together (2021)

James Lee Baker – Santa Barbara – 100 Summers (2020)
Yonder Mountain String Band – Complicated – The Show (2009)
Jack Hadley – Merry Go Round – Daybreak In Alabama: The Langston Hughes Project (2020)
Caitlin Cannon – Toolbag – The TrashCannon Album (2020)
Psychodelic Zombiez – The Doctor – Things That Are Brown (2015)
The Apples In Stereo – Dance Floor – Travellers In Space And Time (2010)
(D) Robin LewisDeep Blue Water (2021)

DeVotchKa – Curse Your Little Heart – Curse Your Little Heart (2006)
Andy Frasco – Keep On Keeping On – Keep On Keepin On (2020)
Andrew Vogt And His Twirling Zucchinis Distracted By Donuts – Distracted By Donuts (2019)

HOUR 2

The Flying Burrito Brothers – Colorado – The Flying Burrito Brothers (1971)
(D) J-CalvinYour Soul Knows (2021)

Augustus – Kick the Doors Down – Color TV and Tall Tales (2020)
The Drunken Hearts – Broken Things – The Prize (2018)
Dango Rose – Life’s Too Short – Ring Out / Life’s Too Short (2021)
Cary Morin – Lay Baby Lay – When I Rise (2018)
Cary Morin – Nobody Gotta Know – Dockside Saints (2020)
(D) despAIR Jordan – Train Wrecks of the Great Lakes – Before Your Wings Gave Out (2021)
Jill Sobule – Where Do I Begin – Nostalgia Kills (2018)
Liptruce – You Think You’re Hollywood – Liptruce (2020)
Adam Bodine – Surface Service – Scenes of Changery (2021)

THIS WEEK ON YOUTUBE

VIDEO PICK OF THE WEEK

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