Tony got his start as James Brown's drummer (while still a teenager) as soon as he graduated from school. He drummed off and on for James as well as Etta James, all the while recording his own music that sounded nothing like either artist. Check!
A bunch of his 7" singles he produced featuring
different artists (Tavell, Venessa Jean, and Vernon Cheely) led Stones Throw to the idea to contact him to release an album. Tony still had his reel to reel multi-track tapes from that era and thought there might be some unreleased songs on the tapes. Figuring there might be an extra song or two, both Tony and Stonews Throw were surprised at what they found. Lots of unreleased songs (some better than the released ones) and lots of longer versions of songs that had been previously released only on 45. There was one song called “What’s On Your Mind” that didn’t have vocals, so Stones Throw R&B artist Dam-Funk came in and sang over it. Two and a half months later, or two and a half decades later if you ask Tony, and he’s “Back To Reality”. He wanted that to be the name of his album because this music was always his reality and he had to put it on the back burner for many years while he performed in other people’s bands and did various other “non-music” jobs. Even though he’s released many 7” singles through his own label, none of these songs have ever been on a full album before, They’ve never been performed live either. There’s talk about getting a band together to play this material in front of a live audience for the first time. Tony is finally, after all these years, get back to his reality.