2017 Telluride Blues Challenge Finalists Announced

Over the past few years, the Telluride Blues Challenge has emerged as one of the most coveted music competitions in the Southwest! Musicians from all over the country submit their best songs for the chance to make the top six and earn an invite to the Blues Challenge Finals held at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. Presented by Telluride Music, Telluride Blues Society, Gondola Sessions and the Colorado Blues Society, the Telluride Blues Challenge gives up-and-coming artists the chance to advance their careers, win a 20 minute set on the festival Main Stage, a professional video recording with Gondola Sessions, a spot on the 2018 Durango Blues Train, a premium Martin guitar and a cash prize.

Every year, the Challenge grows in size and this year was no exception. A record setting 39 entries poured in from around the nation and selecting the finalists was not an easy task. The specialists at Telluride Music narrowed the list down to the top six. The following six finalists will compete at the Telluride Elks Lodge during the Blues for Breakfast event on Saturday, September 16th, 2016 from 9:00 am to Noon.

2017 Finalists

  • Eric Ramsey - Phoenix, AZ

  • Jimmy Thomas - Evergreen, CO

  • Robin Scott - Roswell, NM

  • Gary D Tackett - Fruitland, ID

  • Russ Chapman - Paonia, CO

  • Colorado Slim - Lone Tree, CO

How to Watch

The Telluride Blues Challenge Finals will be held Saturday morning 9am - Noon, September 16, 2017 at the Telluride Elks Lodge (472 W Pacific Ave). The contest happens as part of "Blues for Breakfast", complete with a breakfast spread and full bar including breakfast cocktails during the event. Admission to the competition is free! Breakfast and drinks available for purchase.

This event is a great way to see up-and-comers in the blues genre while starting your Saturday morning off before the Grand Tasting and music starts in the festival grounds. Watch as competitors perform 20 minute sets that will be judged on the quality of their overall live performance, instrument use, vocals, and presentation.



  • A premium Martin guitar provided by Telluride Music Company

  • 20 Minute set to perform on the Main Stage at the 2017 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

  • A full 60 minute set to perform on the Blues Stage at the 2018 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

  • 2 nights to perform on the 2018 Durango Blues Train

  • Recorded video sessions with Gondola Sessions on the scenic Telluride/Mountain Village gondola

  • $300 cash prize

Runner Up

  • $200 cash prize

  • A performance set for the 2017 Sunday Blues for Breakfast event

Don’t miss what is sure to be an epic 2017 Telluride Blues Challenge!

Steve Gumble2017