CORNWALL, Ontario – In the last four decades, if you have followed the local music scene, you will have certainly had the pleasure of seeing and hearing one of the hardest working, and prolific musicians around.
Presently playing in three bands, Mike Tessier, 53, remembers fondly where his love of music began, sitting around the kitchen table, as a young boy, playing his 45s on a record player, wanting to emulate his older brother, Gilles (Robert), an accomplished musician.
“My first gig was at 13, playing for grade eight prom, at Jean XXIII, in the mid-70s.”
Tessier reminisces about the repertoire and the band that the young group called Earth, in which he sang lead. “It was the time of Peter Frampton Comes Alive. We did a lot of stuff from that, and Bee Gees were really popular at that time.”
He started playing the guitar he inherited after his brother’s passing, in ’77, and joined a band called Shotgun, with the likes of Roy Nichol, Mark Day, and Marc Chartrand. You will certainly have heard those names, many times over too.
One night at practice, he jumped on Nichol’s (April Wine fame) drum set, for fun and discovered his own natural ability to form beats. It wasn’t much longer, before he would pick up the bass and become one of the city’s most in-demand bassists.
Fast forward a couple or three decades, Tessier, is still rocking with Lost Boyz Tribute, an 80s tribute band; Spare Parts, a Beatles-to-CeeLo-Green-party-band, and most recently Five Guys in a Box, a 70s to 90s acoustic group.
When he’s not performing, Tessier, enjoys the recording studio, most recently working with local up-and-comer, Mandee Woods, and presently with Roy Nichol on his solo album.
The dedicated husband and father has no aspirations of stardom, opting to not let his passion for music keep him too far from his family, but still feeling the need to give back to the community, when he can, the best way he knows how… with his music.
Tessier will join his “Five Guys in a Box” brothers at the upcoming Masquer-Aid fundraiser, on April 9, at the Ramada Inn and Conference Centre.
The event will benefit The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs, for families with travel and other expenses. For information about the event, visit the Masquer-Aid Facebook page.