Live at Shaver Lake Festival
Shades of Blue
Rhythm Meets the Blues
Rumor Has It
Right From the Heart
Tower of Power has had several wonderful guitarists over the years, but Bruce Conte has always been one of the favorites for Tower fans.
Bruce Conte was the lead guitarist with Tower of Power beginning with their third album, 'Tower of Power', and continuing on through the 'We Came To Play' album. It is Bruce's guitar work that graces recordings such as 'What Is Hip?', 'Don't Change Horses in the Middle of a Stream' and 'Squib Cakes'.
The news that Bruce was returning to Tower of Power in the summer of 2006 was met with great excitement. Bruce's wide range of experience with Tower of Power and with other projects has contributed to signature guitar style that is immediately recognizable.
In 1967, Bruce and his cousin, Victor Conte, started a band called Common Ground and played in the local club scene where they developed their R&B and Jazz styles until 1969.
In 1970, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to join a local band called "Loading Zone" along with members Tom Coster (from Santana), Linda Tillery, Tony Smith and Doug Rauch. Loading Zone had three albums out, played The Fillmore, and opened up for Tower of Power frequently. A bond began to form while the two bands shared a rehearsal hall, and Bruce started to co-write songs with Emilio Castillo and Stephen 'Doc' Kupka of Tower of Power. In September of 1972, Tower of Power hired Lenny Pickett and Bruce from the Loading Zone. Bruce went on to play on 8 Tower of Power albums and he remembers it as one of his life's greatest musical experiences.
Bruce started a small quintet in 1983 and worked the Bay Area club scene in a band called "Hot Street". In 1984, he got a house gig at a Bay Area night club called Frenchy's and had a slick R&B show band called "Power Play". Power Play recorded two albums that were never released. They then started working 9 months per year for Hilton Hotels in Reno and Las Vegas. Within a two-year period, the group got burned out. In 1986, Bruce was getting jobs in casinos where the money was good and the work consistent, which made it hard for him to leave the circuit.
A house gig at the Peppermill in Reno, Nevada was next for Bruce, where he spent a year with Detroit-based singer Tommy Bell. In 1987, Bruce moved to Las Vegas and joined a group called "Sante Fe" with band leader, Jerry Lopez (currently working with Ricky Martin).
In 1988, Bruce sold his home in San Francisco and moved to Los Angeles. He started playing with local drummer, Sal Rodriguez, currently with the group War. One year later, he joined forces with Bobby Espinosa and Sal in the group El Chicano. Bruce spent 10 years with El Chicano, and made one album entitled "Painting the Moment" with El Chicano, in which he co-wrote several tracks.
A Rhino Records release entitled "Anthology" by Tower of Power was released in 1999, which included a number of tracks featuring Bruce.
Much to the delight of his fans, Bruce has recorded four solo albums, which are a mixture of R&B and Blues. On Rick Braun's recent release, "Full Stride", Bruce co-wrote and records a song entitled "Moonshot", which is being played on Smooth Jazz stations throughout the United States. Tower fans also got a taste of Bruce's guitar playing on Rocco Prestia's cd, "Everybody on the Bus".
Bruce's most recent solo release is his second Blues album, titled "Shades of Blue".
Strokeland Records is proud to present all four of Bruce's solo CD's. Check them out for yourself.
Bruce rejoined Tower of Power in June 2006 and toured the world with his old friends again until August, 2007. Bruce is now once again pursuing his solo career and we look forward to much more great music from him.
In May, 2011 Bruce released his latest collection of classic blues tracks, "Live at Shaver Lake Festival" .