Monday, August 10, 2009

Bringing it! Blues style!

Review - Mile High Blues Fest Aug 7th/8th - by Ryan Rister

Mile High Marketplace, typically noted for its Mile High Flea Market, had a pleasant addition this weekend. They held their first annual blues music festival. The line up was huge, including some heavily noted artists like, Joe Bonamassa, Eden Brent, Rick Estrin and the Night cats, Delta Sonics, Jimmy Thackery, and many others on the main stage. There was also a smaller stage to fill in between equipment set-ups including some really inspiring, budding youth blues artists like Michaela Ray, Nic Clark, Zack Thorp, and The Austin Young Band.

I consider myself to be a fairly decent guitar player but some of these kids really put me in my place. Study time! Haha. All of the music was intense, leaving goose bumps on my arms for most of the time I attended. The main stage was built inside a massive tent with huge ceiling fans that kept the eager crowd nice and cool throughout the day. Sound barriers throughout the ceiling of the tent kept the sound pristine and clear. Beer, soda, corn on the cob, Turkey legs, kettle corn, Catfish and Shrimp, Ribs! Man! I am getting hungry again! It was like being in another world. A world surrounded with good feelings and incredible emotion through music. We were even able to meet every single one of the artists and get their signatures! Everything was very well thought out and executed flawlessly. We (about 70 people) were waiting for Joe Bonamassa to come down to the CD sales booth and sign autographs but he was back in the green room. The attendant was very helpful. She made a few calls and then led us all like little ducklings around to the back of the tent where Joe’s bus was and we waited for him to come out. He gladly signed passes, shirts, guitars, or whatever you had with you that was Sharpie –ready. All in all, I think the first annual Blues Fest was a great success and a huge ego boost for the Mile High Marketplace. I can’t wait till next year to go again! You have to check this out next time around! Props to Gina Hallisey (Mile High Marketplace event and venue director) for organizing such a much needed event for Blues music in Colorado!!!!


  1. Thanks for the shout out - we loved hosting the blues and bringing them back to Denver! We are already planning for the 2nd Annual Mile High Blues Festival. Special thanks to John Catt of the Grand County Blues Society and Kai Turner from Strictly Blues on 103.5 The Fox for helping us get this first year off the ground. Couldn't have done it without their years of expertise! Thanks to all those blues fans who supported the event...
    The Blues is Back! See you next year! Gina

  2. Probably the best first year blues festival ever done due the the talented people at the Mile High Market Place, the amount of time and money they spent to insure a good musical experience is at the heart of this success story. As always , thanks to the musicians, each and every one played thier hearts out. I also have to say this was one of the most genuine crowds I have ever seen. They came across as 5000 blues fans. john catt