Tony O

Physically born in Queens in 1955, Tony O had his spiritual birth at age 15 when he discovered Chicago blues. Not only did the 15 year old teach himself how to play the blues, but by age 18 he was welcome in the company of Victoria Spivey, Howlin' Wolf, and Willie Dixon among others. By the early 80's, Tony was touring hard as guitar player and part-time vocalist with the NYC based Little Mike & The Tornadoes.

This band, which included Brad Vickers and Rob Piazza, as well as Little Mike, not only did constant touring on their own but also served as backup band of choice for Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin and also did special tours with Jimmy Rogers, Snooky Pryor and Lester "Big Daddy" Kinsey. They lived for the music and one could hear the effect this had on Tony O- he was emerging as a mature blues player. He was, and remains, more inclined to share the depth of his feelings with you than to overwhelm you with flashy, go-nowhere, solos. As the 80's began to fade, the road finally took its toll on the original cast of Little Mike and The Tornadoes and they went their separate ways.

Tony wasn't out looking for work yet when, in 1990, he received an invitation from Willie "Big Eyes" Smith to join the Legendary Blues Band, a band with a most impressive lineage which was still going strong. Tony toured, and recorded three albums with Legendary, before the urge to go out under his own name could no longer be ignored. He left Legendary in 1992 and regrouped with his old pals from the Tornadoes, Rob Piazza and Brad Vickers, and the hot necomer Nick Luis.

The Tony O Blues Band has been performing their vintage, electric blues ever since and playing with Pinetop, Willie and saxophonist extraordinaire Stan Bronstein every chance they get. Thus, it seems fitting that when Tony decided to cut his first record under his own name that he would have his closest friends, past and present, with him. There's some serious chemistry going on between the players on Top Of The Blues. As for Tony O and the guys, they'll be out and about, honing their craft. If you ever come across them in some big city or backwater town, make sure you go check 'em out, you won't be disappointed.

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Last Update: March 27, 1996 12:15 PM