Tell us about yourself and your music
I grew up on the Jersey Shore in the 60’s watching Johnny Cash and Dean Martin on TV and listening to everything from Hank Williams, etc. and 50’s rock n roll (thanks to my parents) to 60’s thru 80’s pop/ rock and country. Some of my writing influences are the Eagles, John Denver, Elton John, Stephen Bishop, Johnny Cash, George Strait & Ricky Skaggs. I wrote my first song at age 9 (a train song…go figure!). Around that time, my two younger brothers and I formed a band and performed together for many years. In the late 70’s, we recorded 5 of my original songs in a local studio. When my brothers went to college, I formed a country cover band and continued writing. In 1984, I came to Nashville to pitch some of my songs to a songwriter friend of friend hit songwriter who worked at Welk music. Unfortunately, to no avail. So I went home with my tail between my legs but kept writing. Several years later, I recorded 4 songs in Austin, Texas through a small independent record label there and reached #20 on the Independent Country Charts with my first release. Soon after, I returned to Nashville for a showcase and shortly after made the move to Music City. Since then, I’ve recorded 2 albums and am about to release my 3rd. Mostly, I tend to write about personal experiences. A friend once said of my music, “If you ever want to know about his life, just listen to his songs!” I’ve had one song cut by Christian artist, David Phelps and continue to write and perform as often as I can.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest upcoming release is a 19 song cornucopia of acoustic to full band cuts that transcend my many musical influences throughout my life using some of Nashville’s finest musicians or just me and a guitar (plus a cello). I have everything from country to big band to cowboy yodeling! It’s kind of (but not literally) my life story in songs, part of my legacy in a way. At least, that’s how I see it. As of now, I’m in the final stages of graphics and pressing and should be ready to release in a couple weeks.
What inspired you to write this release?
Any plans to release a video?
I have video conceptions for several songs but unfortunately, not enough finances to make them at this time.
Any plans to hit the road?
No, but I do plan to have a cd release party in the Franklin/Nashville area. Working on that.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
This is where I’m probably going to crash and burn. Because I don’t write like what’s out there now. And honestly, I don’t want to. I can’t. I’m me and don’t want to be someone else just to “make it”. I write about things that matter in regards to relationships or introspect more so than things that are currently popular and popular now is pretty shallow to me. If I stand out, it’s because I’m different from the cookie cutter stuff that’s out there. I’m deeper than that but I realize there’s not a lot of audience for that in this day and age.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Very little of the new music out there…I’ll admit I still pretty much listen to what I’ve always listened to over the years because it’s so much better than what’s out there now. When I do , listen to current stuff, I’m usually disappointed or disgusted.
Tell us about your passions
I own a landscaping company and that gets me up most mornings pretty early. Not sure it’s a passion but it pays the bills!
Besides my daughters and my family, my music is my main passion and like I always say when I’m out performing…I came to Nashville to cut records…not grass!
What else is happening next in your world?
Not sure yet! Been so focused on getting this album done for so long, I haven’t really thought about it yet!
Thanks for an awesome interview, Tony!