In 1972, Bobby’s big break came after re-locating to Laurel, Mississippi, replacing drummer Keith Thibodeaux who had just left ‘David & the Giants’. The group was touring non- stop while Bobby’s reputation kept on growing.
The following year, Bobby T joined ‘Paper Steamboat’. Steamboat was a precursor to the now legendary group, ‘Thunderhead’. At that time, Thunderhead was busy opening for every major southern rock group on the circuit. Numerous big name artists also jammed with them when they were in town. One such legendary notable was Johnny Winter, who was a big fan of Thunderhead. With the help of Johnny and Edgar Winter they were signed to ABC/Dunhill Records in 1974.
Johnny agreed to produce their first album. All was going well until company executives decided the original tracks Johnny Winter had produced needed to be re-recorded. It was not the sound Johnny and Thunderhead had originally envisioned. Although somewhat disappointed with the final product, they did have a hit single with ‘Busted In Georgia’. When their album was released in 1975, ABC/Dunhill gave Thunderhead very little backing. Due to this lack of support, the record achieved only moderate success.
In 1976, Bobby replaced Tommy Aldridge in Black Oak Arkansas. He also began the first of two stints with fellow New Haven native Michael Bolton. At the time, Michael’s career was exploding with two new RCA albums. Bobby was also touring extensively with Johnny Winter opening for Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Ted Nugent, and ZZ Top. He also recorded two albums with Johnny Winter on Blue Sky Records – ‘White, Hot & Blue’ in 1978, and ‘Raisin’ Cain’ in 1980. Bobby also recorded an album with Jefferson Starship’s Grace Slick, 1981’s ‘Welcome to the Wrecking Ball’ on RCA.
When not on tour with Johnny Winter, he kept busy gigging with Michael Bolton, appearing in two MTV music videos - Everybody’s Crazy, and Fool’s Game. The Bolton tour also found Bobby sharing the stage with numerous other celebrities including…Bob Seger, Cyndi Lauper, Electric Light Orchestra, George Thorogood, Robert Palmer, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and .38 Special. In 1985, he returned to Black Oak Arkansas. Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander, encouraged him to write more originals, leading to the formation of The Bobby T Band in Chicago. Later on he moved to Nashville for a two-year gig with “Tony Stample” and the “Southern Renegades”.
The number of bands and musicians Bobby T has worked with over the years reads like a “Who’s Who” of the music business. With no signs of slowing down, he appears busier than ever before. ‘T’ is presently gigging with four different groups. The Sin Sisters. 8 And Up, Fairly Famous, and the Jay Willie Blues Band. Thunderhead has also recorded a new album entitled ‘Alive Again’ with the title track written by Bobby T Torello.
Bobby’s longevity in a tough business is a testament to his dedication and love for music. Like any professional musician he has had to overcome a few obstacles along the way. None of these have prevented him from achieving his rightful place in drumming history.
Partial Bobby T Torello Discography: 1975 - Thunderhead 1976 - Thunderhead – ABC/Dunhill 1978 - White Hot & Blue, Johnny Winter CBS/Blue Sky 1980 - Raisin’ Cain – Johnny Winter, CBS Blue Sky 1981 - Welcome to the Wrecking Ball - Grace Slick , RCA 2004 - Humble Spirits, Sean Chambers, Rockview 2010 - Thunderhead – Live in New Orleans, 20 Miles Music 2014 - The Jay Willie Blues Band – Rumblin’ and Slidin’ - Zoho
Paul Nelson is a Grammy winning American guitarist, record producer, and songwriter. He was in the blues rock band of guitarist/singer Icon Johnny Winter. He produced and played on several of Winter's albums, including the Grammy Nominated "I'm a Blues Man" Virgin/EMI, "Roots" Megaforce Records and Step Back, which won him a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album and debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart for Blues Albums and Independent Albums,as well as reaching #16 on the Billboard 200 albums chart the highest spot in Winter's career and also winning the Blues Music Award for Best Rock Blues Album. Nelson was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame and recipient of the distinguished KBA award from the Blues Foundation. And a 59th Grammy Awards Nomination for his work as producer/performer on Joe Louis Walker's "Everybody Wants a Piece" Mascot Records.
He produced and performed on blues guitarist/singer Joe Louis Walker's latest Grammy nominated album Everybody Wants a Piece on Mascot Records (a Blues Music Award winner and Blues Hall of Famer); James Montgomery's latest album for Cleopatra Records featuring Jimmy Vivino from Conan O'Brien, Grace Kelly from Jon Batiste & Stay Human (Stephen Colbert's house band), and the Uptown Horns; Leo "Bud" Welch's latest album for Cleopatra Records; Lance Lopez Live From NYC for Cleopatra Records; the sessions for Junior Wells' album featuring the Blues Brothers Horns (Tom "Bones" Malone and "Blue Lou" Marini from the Saturday Night Live band). He executive-produced and appears in the Johnny Winter documentary Down And Dirty, directed by Greg Oliver of Lemmy documentary fame on Megaforce/Sony as well as appearing in Sidemen: Long Road To Glory documentary featuring Gregg Allman, Bonnie Rait, John Landis and many more!
Taught by Steve Vai, Mike Stern, and Steve Khan. and protégé of Johnny Winter, he has toured the world and performed live and/or on recordings alongside artists such as Eric Clapton, Leslie West, Larry Carlton, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Joe Perry, Robben Ford, Brian Setzer, Billy Gibbons, Earl Slick, Dicky Betts, Mark Knopfler, Joe Walsh, Slash, Pat Travers, Kim Simmonds/Savoy Brown, Anders Osborne, Quinn Sullivan, Los Lobos, Tinsley Ellis, Ana Popavic, Albert Castilla, Lucky Peterson, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Mike Zito, JT Taylor (Kool and the Gang), Joe Louis Walker, Steve Vai, Samantha Fish, Popa Chubby, Ronnie Earl, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Vince Gill, Warren Haynes, Debbie Davies, Sonny Landreth, Joe Bonamassa, Uptown Horns, Ben Harper, Hubert Sumlin, Harvey Brooks, Steven Seagal, Bill Evans, James Cotton, Magic Slim, Coco Montoya, Reese Wynans, Edgar Winter, Ray Davies, George Lynch, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Anthony Jackson, Junior Brown, John Medeski, Ron Holloway, Jimmy Vivino of Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Paul Schaffer's CBS Orchestra, and the Blues Brothers Horns. He has appeared on Late Night With David Letterman on CBS and Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC televised broadcasts.
Grammy Award Winning Guitarist/Producer
2017 Grammy Nominee
KBA Award Winner
Sony Music Group Recording Artist
Guitarist to Johnny Winter
Bassist Scott Spray started playing bass as a kid in the mid-sixties, and has had quite a career. From early studio work handclapping and finger-snapping on two Harry Chapin albums, then playing bass on the Angela Clemmons hit "Give Me Just a Little More Time" (#4 Billboard Disco/ Dance charts), to tours and albums with artists such as: Edgar winter - Felix Cavaliere - Blues Brother Matt "Guitar" Murphy - Ronnie Spector - The Chambers Brothers - The Stylistics - Peter Criss - The Platters - The Drifters - The Coasters - The Marvelettes - John Sebastian - (You get the idea)