The Legendary "Bluesman" Willie Houston & The Blues Prowlers
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The Legendary "Bluesman" Willie Houston & The Blues Prowlers

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The best kept secret in music


"Battling The Blues"

The Empire Blues Festival 2005
Between sets, we noticed an older gentleman quietly taking in the scene. Somehow we sensed he was someone special. He had an aura of integrity about him...of the sort that is earned by remaining true to your dreams no matter how difficult that may be.

We learned soon enough that this was the legendary Willie Houston when he took the stage with his Willie Houston & The Blues Prowlers band. Lord! there's some serious talent in that band. As for Willie at 78-years-old, his voice rang strong and true. He imparted a little tickle of delight to each person present.

Sideshow Asylum Films was on hand wrapping up a two-year documentary they have been doing on Willie Houston's life and music. Look for news of it release, we think you'll want to see it. Though we only spoke for a moment, we considered it an honor to have meet this man. And for Willie, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for all the joy you have brought to this world.

"The Empire Blues Festival"

Getting back to business, Willie Houston and the Blues Prowlers cooled the sun-drenched crowd with their mean-streets brand of tragedy. There’s a very good reason Houston is called “Colorado’s Elder Statesman of the Blues.” Between his smoky vocal delivery and clean, licky guitar, everybody was soon gloriously despondent. (The Empire Blues Festival 2005) - By Stephen Knapp -Canyon Courier


 I received an invite from my friend Rocco “D” Franco last month to tag along to a “showcase” gig at Bourbon Street in Greenwood Village. Since the club was new to me, I thought it would be fun to have a bluesman’s holiday and let someone else do the entertaining.

The star of the evening was Willie Houston. Long a fixture in the Denver blues scene, Willie has gone through a period of revision since the release of his self tilted CD on Fasttrack a couple of years back. Willie has a new band and a new burst of enthusiasm for performing. His album Bluesman Willie Houston and his Guitar is a personal favorite in my collection. So I was looking forward to Willie up close and personal.
Willie’s band featured Hubert “Blues” Lawhorn on bass, Jim Beckstein on keys, Kenny Hoffman on drums and the aforementioned Rocco “D” Franco on guitar. The band opened the show with a couple of warm up numbers, then laid into a nice mid-tempo groove to set the stage for a nice introduction as Willie strolled through the audience to the stage and his guitar. Willie then commenced to charm everyone in the club for the next hour or so.

Willie has a relaxed and warm persona to his performance. He is what I call a meat and potatoes performer. Competence and assurance is found in his guitar licks and vocals. Dressed in a three-piece suit and a hat to match, he emphases the old school element in his performance. While the band grooves behind him, he maintains eye contact with everyone in the room. I envy his comfortable approach to the show. There was a lot to be learned here. Even behind the deepest blues Willie always has a hint of a smile as if to say, “Times my be hard now, but the sun will shine come morning.” I enjoyed myself thoroughly. - Colorado Blues Society Review of "Bluesman" Willie Houston and The Blues Prowlers By Randall Dubis

"A Living Legend"

At 78 years old, you would think there would be some sort of quaver... a crack now and then... something in the voice to expose the years. Not so with Willie Houston.
At the Walnut Room tonight, his voice rings powerful and true. His songs were delivered with passion, precision, and a winkle of delight. Backed by the talented Blues Prowlers, it was one heck of a show.
We learned tonight that after two years in the making, a documentary on Willie's life has been completed. We hope to get a sneak peak at the production later this week. In commeration of this event, we will be bringing you an in-depth article on the life, and the colorful history of Willie Houston, Colorado's Elder Statesman Of The Blues.


CD-Bluesman Willie Houston and His Guitar-2003 Fasttrack Records
CD-Willie Houston & The Blues Prowlers- Live 2005, HBL Music
Film Documentary- Junk, Blues and Collard Greens. The Life and Times Of "Bluesman" Willie Houston
Sideshow Asylum films 2006
Sally Mae-Colorado Blues Society Compilation 2004
Sally Mae-Many western US radio stations


Feeling a bit camera shy


America's number of original delta bluesmen grows smaller with each passing day. Their importance is realized with every generation that follows them. One such bluesman is Willie Houston. Now in his late seventies Willie Houston has waited a long time to get his recognition.
For every well-known Bluesman like BB King, John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters there were literally hundreds of delta bluesmen from that same era that didn’t go to Memphis or Chicago. They were never heard by the likes of Alan Lomax or had a chance to record for the Library of Congress. Many bluesmen moved on to cities like Phoenix, Seattle or Denver to make a living that often times didn’t include playing the blues.
So goes the story of Willie Houston. Now at long last Willie Houston’s time has come. His self-titled CD on the Fasttrack label has attracted attention from radio stations, newspapers and blues fans alike. The opening track Sally Mae has been released on the Colorado Blues Society’s 2004 compilation disc.
His extended Westword newspaper article makes it clear that here is a delta bluesman with all the tools needed to be another delta blues legend. Bluesman Willie Houston is again singing his songs and blues fans everywhere love to hear them.