Imagine Paul Simon hanging out with John Scofield playing Muddy Waters songs, this is what Tony Eltora's music sounds like.
Tony Eltora was born in Jessup Pennsylvania to a rather normal middle class Italian/Polish family before eventually moving to a suburb outside of Richmond, VA at the age of 10. As a young boy Eltora was what he would like to call a “creative introvert” spending most of his time with his head in the clouds. Shortly after moving to VA, a friend from the neighborhood was starting a band and needed a guitarist, so Tony persuaded his mother to go down to the local music/jewelry/Christian nicknack/I’ll sell anything to make a dollar store and buy him a guitar. From that point on, the guitar never left his side. Music was the perfect vehicle for Eltora to express himself creatively and emotionally.
Influenced by blues, rock and jazz music, Tony began writing and performing with local bands at clubs and festivals in the Richmond area. Known for his raw soulful playing and smooth guitar tone, Tony slowly began turning heads as people started to take notice of his talents. Wanting to further his knowledge of music, Tony left the small town life and moved to the city where he began going to school for music at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
While living in Richmond, he started to fall prey to city lifestyles that you find in dark alley’s and began a downward spiral that landed him broke, dropping out of school and disenfranchised with playing music. Watching friends and family struggle with addiction and alcoholism and slowly becoming a statistic himself, he found himself virtually homeless. Later that year a chance opportunity to go to Africa came from a friend and Eltora decided to go. His life would suddenly take a drastic turn and Tony would make a move to Hickory, NC in 2001. While in NC, Eltora began working as a counselor with troubled youth and rediscovering the joy’s of writing and playing music again. He would once again start playing and touring with a few local and regional bands and start teaching private music lessons at a local music store. Because of his love of teaching kids and believing in the therapeutic power of music, Tony helped found the Hickory Music Factory in 2012, a non profit organization in Hickory, NC with the mission to build futures through music by teaching, performance and community outreach.
His latest album “Virginia” showcases his soulful guitar work along with his insightful and thought provoking lyrics. Telling stories of love, loss and rebirth, Eltora’s songwriting is authentic and real and can be best described as Bluesy Americana Soul.