Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

Newly re-formed and ready to rock your world, the ToneKings are back w/ a double-barrel assault. While the band has been around for many years in the Houston area, it has been revamped this year to include Ray Pditty on Bass/Lead Vocals, Skip /lead guitar/vocals (& founding member), Lee/lead guitar/vocals, & Bill/drums/backup vocals. Everyone is from the  Houston/Austin area and are seasoned veterans in the world of high energy rock, classic/modern rock, and progressive blues rock, - “We set out on creating a new entity, something the Lake Conroe /North Houston area has needed for a while; a high energy group in the vein of progressive electric
blues, classic rock, and blues-rock fusion, further expanding the musical  boundries, that will keep you moving or dancing, until the last note.tonekings

Skip - Guitar / Vocals
Slip-sliding originally from Shreveport, La. to Houston in 1977, Skip has been playing guitar for 38 years. He has been involved in the Houston music scene in a variety of projects, and is the original founder of "The  ToneKings", this being the 3rd incarnation, and this time, based out of Conroe, Tx. He counts The Beatles, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy PageBilly Gibbons, David Grissom, Robben Ford, Matt Schofield, Van Wilkes and Eric Johnson among others. These guys have always had creative & soulful playing forever. Its so great, when the songs have melody, and phrasing that will make the hair on your arm stand up, and hopefully well  crafted, either vocally or instrumentally. Skip has been known to be a ‘Gear Head’, but mainly plays an assortment of Strats, Les Pauls , PRS & Hamer
guitars through RL Hunt Dumble "clones", Sewells, Fenders, Two-Rock &  Mesa Boogie amps… He is definitely Groove Approved!

Bill M. - Drums - When asked how long he's been playing drums, the answer most heard is "counting today?..." Born in Houston (yes, there are native H-towners, believe it or not!), early influences were the solid back-beats of Simon Kirke (Bad Co) and Robbie Bachman (BTO). Over the years, influences came and went, but most lasting were Bryan Holmes (The  Producers), Steve Smith (Journey and jazz stuff), Neil Peart (I forget which band he's in) and Jerry Mercer (April Wine).An alumni of the South County music hot-bed (of which Lee is a product as well!), played in various Houston-based bands over the years- most notably The Missiles, Big Swifty, and the Greg Wood Band. Musical styles varied between the bands from beer-soaked party rock, to thoughtul instrumentals, to alternative country, to downright twangy country. Bill meter is always dead on and rock solid, with just the  right amount of "hook & sink" !  Currently plays an early 70s vintage Slingerland drum kit....and many cowbells!

Lee Hanson - Guitar / Vocals Learning guitar starting at the age of 13, Lee has worked his way around many different styles of  music, including jazz, big band, blues, country and western, classical, and folk, but his love has always been rock and roll, and blue-eyed soul. Playing C&W through his college years taught him an appreciation for beer money, as well as finding the right phrase for expressing the feeling of the song. Lee has a way with tone and notes placed in the perfect spot, playing w/ feeling. After playing for the band “Searcher” Lee founded a original band hailing from south Montgomery County, TX called “Disk Drive”. He is also a gearhead, w/ an extensive collection of great amps and guitars, but is almost entirely devoted to Paul Reed Smith guitars and Mesa amps, but always still finds a place in his heart for a good Strat and el84 tubes....

Ray Pditty - Lead/Vocals/Bass Extrodinaire Multi talented Ray is one of the newest ToneKings, bringing killer vocals to the band, while holding down the bottom..a la Paul McCarney, John Wetton, Chris Squire, Sting,etc. He has played in the Houston area  for many years, and bringing lots of experience as a front man. His style can go from mellow to Robert Plant/ Roger Daltry and can command an audience. Besides great vocals, Ray is also an accomplished guitar player and bass player....Thong showers are not uncommon when Rays mojo is full on.


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