Tony Blew

2016 INDUCTEE

Tony Blew makes his home in Ottumwa and began playing professionally in 1963. Early in his career he played guitar in the Soul R&B band TCB and was featured in an I.E.B.N. TV special, “Get Down with TCB”. He also spent nearly a decade touring the country in a trio with his dad. In the 1980s, Tony and drummer David Bernstein started the band Shabazz which enjoyed great success.

As well as playing at night, Tony and recording engineer/producer Phil Richardson teamed up to form Richtone Audio Ads, a jingle house that produced commercials, soundbeds, and jingles for ad agencies all over the country. Through the 1990s, Tony played with the trio Class Act. The group spent 10 years touring the Midwest, highlighted by a gig opening for Tom Arnold and Rosanne Barr at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines.

Tony suffered a slight stroke in 2001 and music was at the foundation of his recovery. He was able to work during this period with Steinway artist Dan Knight in a series of concerts to raise money to help the Bridgeview Center in Ottumwa purchase a new Steinway Grand Piano.

In 2010, Tony had the opportunity to play harp for the way off Broadway production of the Roger Miller musical Big River. 2011 found Tony starting his current project, Uno Blu. Playing as a solo act with the help of his looper pedal, he plays all the instruments you hear including guitar, drums, bass, piano, organ harp and sax. This has allowed Tony to continue to pursue his love of the blues on his own terms.