Yamaha Home Page

Tony Harrell

Tony Harrell's Biography

Tony has come a long way since he began playing the clubs near his east Texas hometown at age 16. Growing up in a music loving family, Tony was already in piano lessons when he was just 6 years old. It was during his youth that he developed a deep appreciation for all kinds of music. Early on he admired the piano stylings of Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston, Chuck Levell, Dr. John, Ray Charles and Billy Powell, just to name a few.

In 1984 Tony moved to Nashville after taking a gig with Johnny Paycheck. He spent the next eight years on the road playing with various artists including Mel McDaniel, Bill Medley and Suzy Boggus.

Fueled by his passion for creating music, Tony's focus shifted to studio work. Today he is regularly called on by Nashville's top producers to cut tracks for such superstars as Brooks & Dunn, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, Lee Ann Womack, and Marty Stuart. He has played on top pop albums such as India.Arie's double platinum disc Acoustic Soul. Tony has laid down tracks for country royalty Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Hank Williams Jr. His name can even be found in the liner notes of rootsy musicians Rodney Crowell and Jack Ingram, hip-hop group Nappy Roots and folk guru Art Garfunkel.

Tony's skilled musicianship has earned multiple Academy of Country Music nominations in the piano/keyboards category. In 2002 he was nominated for a Dove Award for country recorded song of the year for "Write Your Name Across My Heart." A tune cut by both The Oak Ridge Boys and Kenny Rogers.

Tony continues to push himself in other areas of the music business as well. After owning The Hum Depot Recording Studio in Nashvile for eight years, he joined with two partners to open Vibe56 Studio located on famous Music Row. Here Tony's career continues to grow through songwriting and artist development.

Listening to the seasoned expertise of Tony's work, there is no mistaking his undeniable talent or his love for what he does. He considers being a studio musician quite a privilege and, according to him, it's "the best job in the world."

Tony Harrell's Gear