SpotLight: Tony Houle
By Mitzi Beliveau
I first met Tony Houle at a Jam Session at Wilebski’s Blues Saloon on a Tuesday evening. He was up on stage playing his guitar and singing with a tremendous calming voice and everlasting energy that he brings to the scene. He seems to bring in his audience with his strength and the music of his guitar. I see heads and feet going. People dance to the beat of his music because of the emotions he puts into the music he plays.
Tony as he has asked me to call him, said he came from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He grew up in a musical family. His mom, aunts, and uncles are all in the Green Bay Wisconsin area and play and sing in an uncle’s band. He said music is in his blood and heart.
Tony went to college with an English major in the city of Manitowoc, WI. Tony took a class for the Jazz ensemble. After being in that class for a short time Tony and a few of his friends convinced their professor to change to a Classic Rock and Blues ensemble. It was to Tony and his friend’s amazement that they got college credit for this band. The college then changed the class to the R and B Ensemble after the successful travel of the group to different venues. Tony worked with a guitar teacher to improve his music technics on the guitar.
Tony was in the Madison area in the Silver Lake Ensemble when he met his wife of 17 years. It was his wife that convinced him after a while to come to the Twin Cities area. After moving away from his family to this new area, Tony said he fell in love with this city. Tony worked the Jam Sessions with the music community of the Twin Cities area and met Pat McLaughlin of the Pat McLaughlin band.
I asked Tony what does it take to be a successful member of the music community? Tony said having training in the music helps. Most can not just get on stage and start playing music or singing. Tony did say he has seen a few people who had the musical talent in them without training or some kind of music school education. He also said you have to love music and work at it.
I asked Tony what do you love most about your music career? He said I like to be creative! I also love working with others who are original and great at what they do. We all have a love of music. He also told me his wife and his passion for ballroom dance. How awesome is that?
You will find Tony helping at Wilebskis Blues Saloon and other clubs throughout the Twin Cities area at the Jam Sessions. Playing and singing in the Pat McLaughlin Band and Harrison Street band. Keep on Rocking on Tony. I see a long and successful career.
You can find Tony Houle on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tony.houle1?pnref=friends.search Spot Light: Tony Houle