Wild T & The Spirit/Tony Springer
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Wild T & The Spirit/Tony Springer

Band Blues Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"Oh Yay! I Hope This Is '70's Style Funk"

Without first being influenced by a press release, I placed the CD into the player ready for some '70s funk. While this can certainly be found, there is more bluesy rock and soul more than anything else. Aside from "Jungle Love", which mixes all kinds of genres from pop-synth to gothic whispers on the chorus and feels out of place, True Bliss is a real treat. With a strong Eric Clapton and Jeff Healey Band vibe, Wild T and the Spirit brings to mind a dark, smoky, back-water bar (think of the movie Road House) filled with patrons who are only slightly aware of their presence as they bleed their music all over the stage, loving every minute of it. You get the feeling that they play because they like to, not because they want to impress anyone… but this they can't help doing. It's no wonder Tony "Wild T" Spring has played with the likes of The Doors, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Jeff Healey (yay me), Deep Purple, and Johnny Winter. It's also not a surprise to hear Mr. Healey considers Wild T to be his idol and even joins forces with the band on "Can't Get You (Outta My Mind)". Fans of electric guitar, this is a must-have CD. - Score Magazine

"Wild T & The Spirit - Taxim"

To get the full impact of Wild T and The Spirit, one must see the band live. There are no costumes... there are no props... just the musicians and their instruments. WildT's wizardy on the electric guitar has left his audience mesmerized. Guenther Kapelle's funky and sublime bass styling is a perfect compliment for Wild T. Rob Angelow and Andre Tellier round out the band with their melodic keyboards and earthy percussion tones. The spiritual karma exchanged with the audience has given Wild T and The Spirit a tremendous reputation for a fiery live performance. - Herman's



Wild T & The Spirit Record Session for BBC and Take Europe By Storm

"An absolute delight to work with; a lilting, lyrical take on Hendrix"- David Bowie
"I followed him around like he was a Messiah - Tony's been my idol for years" - Jeff Healey

Tony Springer has had an impressive career for over 20 years with a highlight reel of great plays that would make a Monday morning sports fan swoon, but take those decades and put them aside for a minute because for just this one past year, 2005, T has been speeding along with a momentum that has never moved him before...and it's all thanks to Europe.

That impressive highlight reel of great plays includes a chance discovery by David Bowie catching a glimpse of the Wild T video Midnight Blues and taking the time to find Tony Springer to play on his "Black Tie, White Noise" album. Ya gotta know that Bowie has every guitar player in the universe in his Rolodex, so for him to go through all of the trouble to track down Tony for this particular recording project speaks volumes of Tony Springer's guitar prowess. T now resides in elite company in David Bowie's Rolodex. Wild T performed opening act honours for a 14 city tour with Bon Jovi, has shared the stage with Deep Purple, Johnny Winter and many others. Although these highlights have been nice, it's the future that is what is really exciting - even after the many years of outstanding moments.

Wild T & The Spirit have just returned home from Europe and the UK, their second tour over there in 2005. They took a day off to spend at BBC Radio where they recorded a Live Session for a broadcast to be aired on the Paul Jones Blues Show, (a show with 3 million listeners) in March 2006 - oh yeah....just about 6 weeks before they return to Europe to tour again.

It's funny how one's career goes sometimes. Tony Springer is perhaps one of the absolute best guitar players in North America, possibly the world, yet little is known of this man. Sure, you'll find him playing bars across Canada, a necessary evil for any professional musician in Canada. It's easy to take him for granted, easy to ignore press releases announcing where he's playing next. He's loyal to rooms that he feels good in, loves his weekly jam that he's run at Toronto's Black Swan for ages, salutes his resolute die hard followers, pays hommage to Hendrix in his long running FIRE show, but Europe now has wind of his talent and they like it - they love it in fact. One promoter in the UK said of Springer's recent appearance there, "Forget Jimi...if this were 1966 we would be celebrating the Wild T Experience".

In 2004, Wild T & The Spirit went to Europe and played a few dates in a few countries. Response was very good. They picked up a few more agents and in 2005 returned to Europe for a 5 week tour during April and May. They wowed crowds everywhere they went and more agents and industry notice kicked in, including a German record label, Taxim. Now, they are touring across 6 countries in 7 weeks, a tour that kept them away until almost Christmas. Hey, they even recorded a Live CD as a result of this swing through.

No rest for the wicked once home as February and March will find them touring across Canada and then, you guessed it, back to Europe they go. In fact, when they return to Germany, they will be playing the Rother Blues Festival again. They earn the distinction of being the first band to be asked back to perform consecutively in 10 years. Speaking of Festivals, they played the very first Guitar Festival in Basel, Switzerland on Halloween that was headlined by Bernard Allison.

So, all of the cliches that used to apply to T no longer seem to fit. Unsung hero doesn't really describe him any more because there is much praise sung for him abroad. Local hero? Yeah, he is, but that's not completely true now that Europe is in on the secret and is taking him away from us more and more with each tour.

Please take this opportunity to explore Tony Springer/Wild T & The Spirit with your readers, listeners and viewers as the world opens up to learn what many Canadians have known for years - there is much to be proud of here with this artist and band.

TONY SPRINGER holds a Guitar Workshop (Hendrix Trix and Nasty Licks) at THE OTTAWA FOLKLORE CENTRE - SAT. JAN. 28TH from Noon - 2 pm $20.00

To set up your interview with Tony Springer, for further information or anything else on Wild T & The Spirit, please contact Michele Bateman - Decent Exposure Artist Representation - (705) 386-7678. Email: decentex@ontera.net

"The best blues-based artist heard in years"

2004 Oct Scott H. Platt
"Mix Stevie Ray blues, Rick James funk and Living Colour-styled hard rock and you get Wild T & The Spirit...This is the freshest, best blues-based artist that I've heard in years. " - BAR CANDY

"The Wild T Experience"

Tony "Wild T" Springer has had more lives than a dreadlocked cat. He moved to Toronto from Trinidad in his early teens, where he quickly tired of playing the reggae and calypso music most Caribbean ex-pats were playing. "I heard blues and rock 'n' roll, " he says, "and I thought, 'Man, that's what I want to frickin' do.' It's so expressive, y'know?"

So he plugged in his electric guitar and soon became a hit on the club circuit, releasing the critically acclaimed album 'Love Crazy' in 191. This disc's success and Springer's growing reputation as a wild frontman brought him to the attention of megastar David Bowie, who invited Springer to play guitar on 'Black Tie, White Noise'. Years of touring with the likes of Bon Jovi and Deep Purple eventually led him to Chicago and the heart of the American rock and blues market. But after several years without a new album, Springer moved back to Toronto and started again from scratch.

"It wasn't easy at the beginning," he says. "When I came back, it was hard. I'd have one gig a week, sometimes one gig a month, and just couldn't get it together, man. But I just kept hustling and hustling and then everywhere I played they liked it, of course."

Springer soon had his calendar filled with shows and another lucky break came when he was offered the part of Jimi Hendrix in the Monkees TV biopic'Daydream Believers'.

The release of 'True Bliss' on Bullseye Records at the end of 2003 found Springer once again at the top of his game; the disc finds the artist maturng and mellowing with age. There's still a ton of sexually charged energy on rockers like 'Dangerous', but on the whole True Bliss takes a more soulful approach than his previous material. Springer wrote all of the songs with an acoustic guitar in hand and in mind, so they could stand alone without a rock band behind them. "I just decided to write songs that were a little more accessible," he says. "Your grandmother would hear these songs and say 'I like that boy' and then she'd see my playing guitar with my teeth and my tongue and...." Springer concludes the sentence by emitting a deep rumble of laughter.

He's smiling more broadly now, having just returned from a three week tour of Europe where he says the crowds and the media just couldn't stop talking about "the wild man from Toronto" For some reason, Europeans are hungrier for hot live music than North Americans. "Oh man, it was amazing," he says. "It's like night and day. They're so into it, especially if it's good. What we do is more real and pure, and boy, they just loved us." - Music Notes by Phil Duperron and Jered Stuffco

"Springer Plays Tyykiblues Festival,Forssa, Finland"

Springer Plays Forssa

by Leena Pärssinen - Forssa Magazine - Aug. 2003

Canadian band eagerly awaits the gigs
The main star of the Tyykiblues festival this year comes from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For their first time in Finland, The Tony Springer Band is playing three gigs in the blues festival. Guitarist Philip Saycen was originally slotted to play with the Springer Band but a last minute replacement was another Canadian bluesman, Brian Cober.

Tony Springer and his band played a warm-up for Tyykiblues in Tampere. Springer was happily surprised at the warm welcome of the Finnish audience. "Europeans value live music more than North Americans. I’ve heard it before but now I see it myself. An appreciative audience helps the artist give more."

Springer is waiting eagerly for tonight's gig. "I was positively surprised how much the Finns love blues." Guenter Kapelle, who plays bass, has played with Springer for three years. Drummer Brian Lass is a new face.

"Brian is a bit nervous as it is his first time on tour. I have to look after him a bit," says Springer. Lass was found after playing jam sessions that Springer hosts often in Toronto. "It is great to be with this band. They used to be my heroes" says Lass.

At home Tony has several bands going on, but he most values The Tony Springer Band. "With these guys our playing is always improving. They are such good musicians that every time out one has to do better."

Roots in the Caribbean
Springer is originally from Trinidad. He grew up playing calypso and reggae and hadn’t been listening to blues before he moved to Canada as a teenager. Springer uses Caribbean rhythm in his music and adds rock and blues. The music of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley is important for him. In Canada Springer is famous for his Jimi Hendrix tribute band Fire. "At the end of the gig I always burn my guitar. It won’t happen here" Springer laughs.

Springer's musical career has seen many interesting twists. In 1992 David Bowie asked him to be guitarist for his album Black Tie, White Noise. Springer played with Bowie on the talk show circuit, for example in Jay Leno’s shows. But this is the first time he's played in Europe. "When I saw how much people like me, I know that we are coming back. There’s been some talks about new gigs."

The Tony Springer Band plays three gigs in Tyykiblues, today they play first in Puuvillamakasiini and later in PumpuliEnkeli. On Sunday they play in final jam session in Sävel restaurant.

One can’t be sure what’s going to happen in the Springer Band’s gigs. "We play on how people are reacting. I’ve heard that they like Bob Marley here." The band is going to the recording studio in November. "The tunes are ready. We just have to practise them well."

- Foressa Magazine - Aug. 2003

"Harelbeke Blues Festival - Belgium - June, 2004"

Somewhat before five o'clock the stage master announces Wild T & the Spirit, aka Tony Springer. Originating from Trinidad (near Venezuela), Tony migrated to Canada. Naturally he can not deny his roots, as they are accentuated by his dangling dreadlocks. Wild T & The Spirit have a new album out called "True Bliss" and the opening track is served immediately. Wild T, dressed hip and in cool frilled suede boots, has shared the stage with big names which makes for energetical and expressive stage behavior. Completing bass and drums is a keyboard which produces a nice Hammond sound. Wild T demonstrates his ability on the guitar abundantly. His songs are a mix of blues, boogie and rock, with continually jazzy influences and a funky undertone. Besides tracks from the first cd they also play songs from previous albums, some nice covers (Hey Joe) and an outstanding imitation of the forties blues. 'Brand New Cadillac' was truly gripping. (See the beautiful pictures on his website www.wildt.ca taken by Bobtje). Although lasting one hour and a half his set consists of only 10 songs. It is a fantastic show, his rasta look and his guitar playing being remarkable ingredients. Furthermore he is accompanied by a great band. There is only time for one encore to close down this second higlight of the afternoon. - Bobtje.com

"The Beaches Interview - Wild T talks with Paul Murton"

Paul: If you had, imagine, on a desert island, only five CD's, of course, along with your own music, which five CD's would you pick to listen to for the rest of your life?
Wild T: OK. First of all, Sly and the Family Stone. There's A Riot Going On. Funky Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland. Led Zeppelin - I don't know which one - any one with Since I've Been In Love With You - I love that song. Yeah, one Zepp, one Zepp. Let me see, something, oh man, Bob Marley On the Islands, you got to be on the Islands, eh, Bob Marley, any Bob Marley… Otis Redding. Otis Redding, Live at Monterey Pop Festival. Yeah.

Paul: There will be a picture in the paper of a group called Now and Then. So, tell me, what music did you play, what year it was, and did you have any sex with any of the players in the group?

Wild T: First of all, when I first came to Canada I lived in London, Ontario, for a while and this picture was in 1980. Look at me with the short small afro there. The bass player's name is Marty, he's on the right there. He's gay. He was the first gay guy I ever ran into. The drummer was Carl, on the left there, and the girl is Debbie. They had a little thing going. The band wasn't supposed to find out, but I found out. So that was our little secret. We played stuff like Cold as Ice, Foreigner, and all that schmaltzy - We used to play Walkerton, Hanover, Minden all these places, North Bay, Thunder Bay.

After this Now and Then kind of split up, this band came to London auditioning guitar players - oh this is funny. The drummer I knew him from Toronto and he says, man, come down to Ramada Inn and audition. So I auditioned for this band. The first song we had to audition was - what was the name of that Neil Diamond song - Baby She Loves Me? - I never heard the song before, but they played it and I went OK, bro, so here's me standing up and (makes noises of playing). The leader of the band came and told me "Can you please play 'white'?" So I had to go (ping ping etc.) I got the gig. This band was so cool - a big showband. We used to go to the States for like three months in a row. Come back to Toronto for a week and then go back to the States - play, like, Playboy Clubs, went to Memphis, Nashville - A-1 clubs. We played all week, and we played two weeks at a place. At the time it was like $300 U.S. a week, which to me was great. This was 1980, 1982 - this was amazing - no overhead, we'd like buy food, have a cooler, share rooms, the first day we'd get there we'd go buy groceries and cook and stuff in the room. It was a good thing.

The band would do like Michael Jackson or whatever the new pop thing was around at the time. Then Alex Glover would come out and do his show. We did a couple of different shows. One big show was a Muppett Show. We used to do a Muppett show - we'd have Kermit and Miss Piggy - talking, cussing, and being nasty and farting and all kinds of bad stupid stuff. And then there was really nice musical stuff we did, like a tribute to Three Dog Night, Sly and the Family Stone, Neil Diamond and Kenny Rogers. It was really musical stuff. I ended up leaving the band. People started wanting me to stay in the States. People would come see me and go, "Man, you should leave this stupid band." So I ended up leaving the band and coming back to Toronto. When I left the band they were all going mad: "That's the worst thing. You can't have your own band." I'm going: "I wanna have my own band." And they're going. "No you can't - that's the hardest thing." I love a challenge.

I came to Toronto and the next thing I got hooked up with some people and here I am now. The first CD was released by - I had a record deal with Warner Canada, and they were connected with Frozen Ghost - I don't know if you remember them. And Frozen Ghost was Arnold Lanni. He also produced Our Lady Peace and did all that stuff with them. His brother was Rob Lanni. He was like a manager looking for new bands to sign. I was the first band. They came and saw me play and told me they were going to get me a record deal and got me hooked up with Warner. It was a whole business thing. Rob was the manager and Arnold was the producer. He had a studio so when I signed with Warner I signed a management deal with Rob and recorded with Arnold. And that was good. I decided to really not pursue the five CD deal with Warner because they weren't doing anything. These guys would come and tell me, "You know, we sent your CD to the States and they really like it, but they say that you're black." So what I am to do - shall I be like Michael Jackson and lose my tan? And stupid stuff like that, you know, they weren't helping. So I ended up getting out of the management deal, the record deal. And here I am with my new CD we signed with Bullseye Records. It's doing really well.

Paul: Whats with this picture of you and Bowie?

Wild T: Oh Bowie, yeah. That a whole thing, my first CD - the second single on the first CD was called Midnight Blues. David - MUSIC TRAIN EXPRESS - March/April 2005


Love Crazy - Warner - 1991
Givin' Blood - Warner - 1993 (1994 Juno Nominee)
True Bliss - Bullseye - 2004
I've Got The Rhythm - 2005
*A Live From Europe album is being recorded on this current tour*


Feeling a bit camera shy


Tony "Wild T" Springer has hung with the best of them. David Bowie, Jeff Healey, Bon Jovi, Deep Purple, Jay Leno, David Letterman and Arsenio Hall are just some of the musical acts and personalities that have been blown away by Wild T's guitar.

Wild T is originally from Tunapuna, Trinidad. Though one may find similarities to Jimi Hendrix, ironically it was T's first exposure to Steve Howe and classic Yes that inspired him to take up guitar.

Moving to Toronto, Canada, T quickly gained a reputation on the local club circuit. Since then he has recorded two albums (Love Crazy 1991 and Givin' Blood 1995) with his own group, Wild T and the Spirit for Warner Brothers. He has also recorded an album (Black Tie, White Noise) with David Bowie and has appeared with Bowie on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman and the Arsenio Hall Show.

He has toured with Bon Jovi and Deep Purple throughout North America and has performed thousands of club shows. In '99 he was asked to portray Jimi Hendrix in Daydream Believers - The Monkees Story because of his resemblance and showmanship.