His playing style and stage presence mirror that of his idols such as John Mayer, Joe Walsh and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. But his inability to mimic his heroes has given him a sound of his own. From smooth, slow and soulful, to a hard-driving cutting-edge; Thompson's arsenal of notes and licks seems limitless.
At just 22 years old, Thompson tried out for the local round of Guitar Center's Nationwide 2012 King of The Blues Competition in Pensacola, Florida. Never participating in this event before, Thompson decided to test his skills as a guitarist against those of more than 10,000 other participants Nationwide. Stepping out from the shadows, Tony blew away the judges with licks and riffs of that of a seasoned musician. Needless to say, he stepped up against guitarists more than twice his age, including his mentor and close friend Don Polk (Bulletproof). Low and behold, Thompson advanced three more rounds before eventually being eliminated in Orlando, Florida at the Regional finals.
"I've got a new respect for Blues music and other musicians alike, now. I was extremely humbled, and thank God for the opportunity and experience He gave to me." - Thompson
Thompson was dubbed the nickname "T-Bone" Thompson by his friend and musical mentor Don Polk (Bulletproof), at the very same competition they competed against each other in.
"I remember I was setting up my rig when the announcer introduced me, and all I heard was Don say 'Come on. T-Bone Thompson.' and it stuck."
Thompson gives even the most experienced guitarists locally a run for their money. With 15 years under his belt, quick hands, and an old soul in a young body, this "Young Blood" is well on his way to becoming a local legend on the guitar.
He has shared the stage with many artists including Nashville recording artist Dusty Sanderson, Independent recording artist Brooke Woods, up and coming country singer Jordan Capers, and Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Shar Baby!!!
Tony-Ray is now known locally around the Gulf Coast as an avid Blues-Rock guitarist also as an aspiring Country/Southern-Rock artist.
He has played on stages across the nation as far south as Winter Park, Florida to as far north as Chicago, Illinois.
Putting new southern twists on some old school rock classics, along with original songs, Tony-Ray is holding his own as an artist in the local music scene on the Gulf Coast.
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