I was born a poor black child... No, wait! That was Steve Martin's character in "The Jerk." I was born June 9, 1963 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. I grew up listening to the radio and to records. I was immediately attracted to 50's rock music at an early age, especially Chuck Berry (he's still one of my music heros.) Mom and Dad played records by Marty Robbins, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, etc. We also watched tv music shows like Sonny and Cher, Tom Jones, Dean Martin, and Johnny Cash. I liked to see people perform music live on tv. This got me interested in playing guitar. Later on I got into heavier music like Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter and Robin Trower. They are still my heroes and important influences today.
Most people recognize me from my work as backing guitar player and singer for other bands and musicians. I toured with Pat Travers, recorded and toured with Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big and from 1999 to 2009 and continue to write and record with Paul to this day. I also worked as a backing guitar player and background singer for TOTO. You can see me on all of TOTO's live recordings during that time period and I've toured the world many times with the group.
In the shadow of my work as a backing musician, I have continued to work on my solo career. I've recorded a total of nine (9) solo albums so far, as well as made guest appearances on many other artist's CD's and tribute recordings. The first three of my solo recordings, "Saturn Blues" (1993), "My '64" (1995) and "Crosstown Sessions" (1996) were released on Mike Varney's Blues Bureau International label. Due to TOTO's busy touring schedule, it took some time before I recorded "Chicks & Guitars," my fourth album that was released in 2005. That album is the only one I've done entirely on my own, without any record company involvement. (I really like that one!) "Live in Europe" was recorded and released in 2007 on Grooveyard Records along with "Rollin’ and Tumblin'" which was recorded in 2009. "Down Home Mojo," also on Grooveyard Records (my favorite so far!) was recorded in 2011 and the I continue to record for Grooveyard Records to this day!
The Tony Spinner Band has been touring throughout Europe since 2004. The current line-up of my European band consists of bass player Michel Mulder and drummer Alex Steier. These guys are great musicians as well as super nice people. They have the same passion for making good music as I do.
When I play at home in the U.S., I have some local guys that I play with. Brent Long on bass and vocals and Derek Doyle on drums. They're also great guys and we have big time fun jammin' in the clubs here in the South. Put on your bullet proof vest and get your tetanus shot and come see us some time! (Sometimes the clubs can get kinda rough, ha ha!)
My goal as a musician is to make good music with lots of improvisation. The tunes I play include rock, blues, funk and groove influenced jams. I never have liked set lists so I don't use one. You never know what you'll get but it is always honest, inspired and real "from the heart music." Kinda like... "Earth Music For Aliens", yeah, that's the ticket!!! That’s what it's all about to me!