Morris: The Next Generation

After spending 35 years in the music business so far, Denver promoter Chuck Morris recently found himself in yet another role – the father of a budding blues/rock singer.

Kolby Morris, 21, was hired to sing with established Denver band the Groove Hawgs in August, but Dad had kept it mostly under wraps until Pollstar called.

“I’ve not really wanted to push it because she’s so young and still pretty new,” Morris said. “She is my kid and we haven’t even told anyone locally but it got out.

“Kolby is her own woman. I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I know how difficult it is, so I didn’t push her at all – sometimes, the opposite. But nothing’s going to stop her. She’s got a ways to go.”

The Blues Brothers-styled Groove Hawgs, co-founded by local morning radio show hosts Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax in 1997, have opened for numerous touring acts including Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top, Def Leppard, and Johnny Winter.

Lewis’ and Floorwax’s show, by the way, is where guest Ted Nugent made national news with a controversial remark in 2003 that was perceived by some to be derogatory toward minorities.

The band’s most recent gig included a November 14th opening slot for The Pretenders and The Who at the 18,650-capacity Pepsi Center, which was booked prior to Kolby joining the lineup.

Morris, who had only seen his daughter perform musical theatre prior to her latest gig, couldn’t help but voice his pride.

“This is only her fourth gig with the band and they’re playing the big Pepsi Center stage in front of all those people,” he said. “She’s such a trooper.”

As to whether Morris will use his expertise to help Kolby’s prospects, the industry vet said he sticks with a hands-off approach when it comes to his kids.

“I certainly will, down the road, try to open some doors for her but she’s got to find her own self and that’s what she wants to do,” Morris said. “She doesn’t want to use my name for anything.”

– Tina Amendola