Bill Houston
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Bill Houston


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Touch the Earth compilation - liner note"

…this song (Railroad Town) was a perfect evocation of the feelings we all had aboard the train in the Northern Ontario wilderness. A number of people stuffed themselves into the small train compartment to help Bill out on this one including Tom Kelly, Bill Garrett and Curly Boy Stubbs (a.k.a. Paul Mills) - Bruce Steele, CBC

"Uniquely Canadian"

“His music is open and clear and somehow, uniquely Canadian country – even Canadian north country – in feel. He is a newcomer in a long line of Canadian songwriters in the contemporary folk tradition; people like Ian Tyson, Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell…” The Canadian Composer NO. 63, 1971 - Richard Flohi


The King of White Otter Lake
North of Superior
Bring Back the Music



In 1971 the first comlete full frame IMAX film “North of Superior” was screened at Toronto’s Ontario Place. Shown on a six story, curved screen audiences were awestruck by its unparalleled clarity of images. Partnered, in perfect harmony, with these incredible visuals was the song Ojibway Country written and performed by Bill Houston.

In the decade following, Bill composed material for several films, documentaries and commercials, established a music publishing company, developed his own small record company, Lone Wolf Productions Ltd., and released his own full length album The King of White Otter Lake. The title track from this album tells the tale of Jimmy McQuat, a persistent and ingenious man who built a castle on White Otter Lake near Ignace, ON. Jimmy became a legend and the song became Bill Houston’s most published and reproduced work. “The King of White Otter Lake” even made it into public school songbooks where it is used to teach, not only music, but geography, history and comparative literature.

In spite of his success in Toronto, and although his artistic vision had expanded to include the world, Bill realized his roots were in that great reservoir of the human spirit, the north. He decided to return. Marriage, two children and full time work grounded him in Thunder Bay. However, he continued to write music and play with local musicians whenever the opportunities arose.

In 1997, together with George Gregorovich and a host of other talented Thunder Bay musicians, Bill released an 11 song CD, North of Superior and was quickly booked all over Northwestern Ontario. People were eager to hear the mix of old and new material and to welcome Bill back to the stage. To date Bill continues to play for appreciative audiences in the region at house concerts, fundraisers, cafes, schools and festivals, but with only a small portion of the songs he has written available to the public, he decided it was time for another CD.

The result was "Bring Back the Music", a 14 song CD, released in the summer of 2006. With a diversity of styles from ragtime to lullaby and topics from historic rail lines to prescription drugs this most recent collection once again illuminates the incredible songwriting talent of Bill Houston. Backed by renowned musicians such as Chris Whiteley, Anne Lindsay and Grit Laskin and utilizing the skills of award winning producer Paul Mills, the album has found enthusiastic acceptance among folk aficionados and new-comers alike. In fact, at the 2007 Ontario Council of Folk Festivals conference two songs from "Bring Back the Music" received Honourable Mention in the 5th Annual Songs from the Heart Contest; “Trail of the Caribou” in the Historical category and “Blackfly (Secret Weapon of the North)” in the Humorous category.

"Trail of the Caribou" also received Honourable Mention in the 2007 International Narrative Song Competition.