Profiles

How Denver blues royalty the Hornbuckles overcame heroin addiction and estrangement

Michael Hornbuckle was twelve years old the first time he shared the stage with his father, legendary Denver bluesman Bobby Hornbuckle, and at thirteen he was playing weekends with his dad. While he was getting an education on stage, he was also schooling himself in blues guitar by listening to the likes of Luther Allison, Johnny Winter, Robert Johnson, Bukka White and three Kings: B.B., Albert and Freddie.

But around the time the younger Hornbuckle was seventeen, he says, he developed a nasty heroin addiction. "From the start, I was always on hiatus, going to fucking rehab or jail, or overdose after overdose," he says. "I was always in trouble with the law."