Spend a moment in time with Tony Spence and your head will be spinning with what he has packed into his 27 years. Growing up between Redcliffe and Caboolture, one of seven brothers and sisters, a street kid at 13, by 15 years of age he had made a commitment to himself - to make something of his life through his music and so penning his first song – ‘Country Town’.
Tony is big on commitment and where life and people may have let him down, he has not waivered from his music, it is his backbone and lifeblood. Lyrics from his latest composition, ‘Jealousy’, sum it up – “There’s no way you’re gonna bring me strife, There’s no way you’re gonna kill my pride”.
Tony’s self-produced CD, ‘Living on Victory’s Edge’, is testimony to his talent, with three originals and four covers gracing the sleeve. Easy-going and happy to share his private thoughts, Tony explains how this CD represents achievement and success but has further plans to tour the States and Australia – a realist, Tony knows this is only possible with the help of a backer. “I want to record at Sun Studio in Memphis Tennessee; my band is ‘TS and the Country Magic’ but I imagine I will need to get to Memphis as a solo artist.”
Already with a following, Tony’s recent performance at the Urban Country Music Festival saw fans travel from the States to hear him. It was here that he performed his latest composition ‘Jealousy’ and describes how the Festival scratch band provided awesome support with his public debut of the song, well received by the audience at the ‘Walk-up Stage’; this Festival also awarded him third place in the Busking Competition People’s Choice, (in 2011 he received fourth place), situating himself in the same locale as he has for the past five years, near the Historical Village Railway Station.
While country is at the heart of his oeuvre, Tony is a man for all seasons and can cut across musical genres however his delivery at the Hub Muso of the Month will essentially focus on originals with a country base.
Despite being self-taught, It doesn’t hurt to have music in the genes either - Tony’s father is a professional drummer, “Dad was the first drummer of Keith Urban”, and a believer in his son’s talent. These days Tony and Dad converge to perform with Dad following son; they will next appear together at Tamworth County Music Festival with the band backing Tony.
Tony’s increasingly interesting stories, delivered with endearing honesty, make for engaging conversation, however, he leaves the jaw-dropping details to last. “I actually died last year, I was doing a gig at Caboolture and might heart stopped; it’s my third heart attack but this one killed me. Being brought back to life means you don’t take anything for granted; I don’t drink anymore, and my focus is my music. Before I get to the States I want to concentrate on expanding my music in small country towns; it’s not something people usually think about, they all head for the big city, but small towns can be your toughest crowds, your harshest critics and that’s what I am up for; the sincerity of bush towns means you know you’ve really made it. “
With those words it’s clear whatever the future holds, Tony will still call Australia home.