Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Playing keyboards was not Tony TerBorg’s idea. He wanted to play guitar when he was young. Visions of the Beatles and impressing young girls abounded. His parents had different ideas though so it was off to the piano teacher. In 1974 that all changed when after sneaking back home from non-parent approved party, Tony heard Rick Wakeman’s Journey To The Center of the Earth on the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio show. His perception of what piano and synthesizers could do made him a convert on the spot.
His first professional gig came at the age of 17 when his mom took him on the road as keyboardist for her Vegas-style showroom band. For the next three years Tony’s classroom was “trail-by-fire” of being on stage five to six nights a week and having to play with some of the best touring musicians on the circuit.
When he finally stepped out on his own at age 20, Tony was already a road tested musician with a substantial tool belt of musical acumen, as well as show production and business experience in his arsenal. Over the next couple of decades, Tony broadened that experience by playing with everything from touring Top 40 acts to original rock groups and recording with a long list of artists and bands in the studio. Most noted for bringing his “heart” to every note he plays as well as intuitively knowing just the perfect color to bring to life an artist’s vision, Tony has earned a solid reputation as a perfect ensemble player to every musician he has worked with. Equally at home behind a 12’ Grand Piano or a raging B3, or even emulating a symphonic orchestra, rad synth player and sometimes even being the second “guitarist” on keys, Tony helps paint the perfect sonic tapestry to every piece he plays on.
That ability has allowed him to perform with an impressive list of artists. Tony played for several years with songwriter Steve Gillette whose music has been covered by people like Garth Brooks, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, and Tammy Wynette. He performed in local blues legend Mike Reilly’s band along with Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe Johanson. He was in an original pop group with David Andersen, who is best known as Nashville’s “Ambassador of Music” at the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2000, Tony recorded all the keyboard, organ and string tracks for Jackie DeShannon’s album You Know Me. DeShannon, who won a Grammy for writing the 1981 hit “Betty Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, was also a 60’s superstar with songs like “When You Walk In The Room”, “Needles and Pins”, “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” and “What The World Needs Now”. As a result Tony served as DeShannon’s Musical Director for the next couple of years for all her West Coast appearances. Tony also worked as MD for world-famous 7-string electric violinist Robert Anthony Aviles and wrote and co-wrote several of the selections on Aviles’ Joy To The World and Rhythm of Insight albums. He toured both nationally and internationally with Aviles and his group which were nominated two years running as Best New Artist for the OCMAs.
In 1995, Tony hooked up with Raise Your Glass’(RYG) guitarist Scott Ramsay in an original rock band called World Affairs. Together they toured and recorded for five years and were instrumental in the writing of most of the band’s material. The two have played together in various other groups ever since and the chemistry they have formed instantly creates a solid canvas upon which an artist can paint. Even in RYG, though the material is already mapped out, being able to recreate that vibe and feel authentically and bring it to life, is no simple task, yet watching TerBorg and Ramsay, it just looks like second nature to them to play off each other to make RYG the incredible act it is.