Johnny O | Tom Donnohue | Bill Pelletier |
Johnny began playing trumpet at age six, and with the urging of his grandmother, learned to play the accordion at age eight. Two years later, he was giving lessons to others. At 12, he took up playing the guitar and has been tearing it up ever since.
His wild playing techniques have made him a Twin Cities favorite with such bands as Transport, the Little Blues Dudes, and Twin Cities mainstay, the Soulmates.
Johnny says, "Touching people's souls with music is what it's all about. Making your audience feel things through music is why I play."
Tom Donnohue was born in Duluth, Minnesota. His Irish father worked as a concrete truck driver and his Italian mother was a library assistant. He has one younger sister. As a 16-year-old student at Duluth high school, Tom began playing the drums with " Thrust Band " , performing throughout northern Minnesota.
In addition to being a University of Minnesota Duluth graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, he is also a skillful percussionist, playing the piano, tambourine, maracas, bells, chimes and tympani as well as drums.
Before joining the Soulmates, he performed in the Twin Cities with " Amy and the Topcats, Route 66 " , and the "Midwest Pop Experience " .
Tom has a great enthusiasm for life. "Get involved," he says. "Have compassion toward other, be responsible for yourself and go for it. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you have always gotten."
Tom's life is diversified. In addition to being a musician, he is a competitive cross-country skier, a political and social activist and world traveler. He spends some of his time working with Little Brother, and Friends of the Elderly.
His musical idols are The Beatles. "Few have been as influential," he says. However, he loves not only The Beatles, R & B and Blues, but many music styles. "I'm interested in creating music with a new twist...naturally fusing different influences to make something unique."
Tom also has a deep respect for the people that support the music, "Without the people that enjoy what we're doing, it would be a lonely life."
Illinois-born, Texas-raised, Bill Pelletier has now been thumping through the Upper Mississippi blues scene for a decade.
A founding member of Mississippi Uptown, a 1992 Twin Cities all-star Blues band finalist, he has shared the bill with such outstanding artists as Ronnie Earl, Long John Baldry, and Stevie Ray Vaughan's saxman, Johnny Reno.
The band hosted jams in various Minneapolis clubs and at the Blues Saloon in St. Paul, and were heard on KFAI and KTCZ radio stations.
Bill played with The Penetrators, The Hackmaster and others before joining the "Soulmates " in 1995.
He studies (Jim Anton, Greg Inhofer) and teaches (AAA Music, private) and keeps busy coaching his son's baseball team.
A quote by Willie Dixon best sums up his belief, "I live the life I love, I love the life I live."