“Tony Smiley is one of the most entertaining and talented musicians in the Portland area. He is dubbed the loop-ninja and, when you witness his verbal throwing stars and his black belt in smooth riffs, you’ll understand why.”
“it’s going to sound clichéd to say so, but you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Tony Smiley play music. Also known as The Loop Ninja, Smiley is a one-man band who singlehandedly puts most multiple-member bands in their places. He’d played two incredible sets and had easily paid his dues to the venue, but the audience was far from finished with that awesome Smiley vibe. Leaving his many instruments and mics behind, he leapt from the state directly into the crowd, launching into a utterly fantastic sing-along rendition of The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” supported only by his un-amplified acoustic guitar and his own voice. The totally blissed-out looks on the faces of the audience made me think I’d better see as much as Smiley as possible while he’s still touring the Pacific Northwest, because I believe this man is bound for bigger and better things”
“The Hood River-native is making the best music of his career and he’s doing it all on his own with the help of a few loop pedals and an arsenal of instruments ranging from keyboards to drums. His appeal here in Central Oregon has boomed in the past year and he plays one of his most notable shows in the region on Thursday night at McMenamins Old St. Francis School. At this show – and all his shows, for that matter – Smiley is surrounded by a tangle of wires, guitars and, of course, effects pedals, and takes his audiences’ initial confusion and molds it into an all-out raging dance party when he sees fit.Even if he wants the songs to stand alone, Smiley’s live shows do, however, draw plenty of curious onlookers who are wondering how in the hell this one guy is making all that noise. Being in complete control of the music also allows him – much like a techno or dubstep DJ – to feel out his crowd and shift up a gear if he’s got an especially dance-thirsty crowd.”
The source Weekly
“For Portland-based one-man band Tony Smiley, the snowball is rolling downhill and getting bigger fast.
It's a surge of momentum for the 36-year-old multi-instrumentalist that began, really, with a high-def video. In it, Smiley starts out surrounded by music-making gear, a fan blowing his sandy hair like it's a cover shoot for a fashion magazine.
Then, he launches into a driving riff on an acoustic guitar, and the camera shows his red Converse sneaker step on a pedal all the way to the left of a tangle of electronic toys sitting at his feet. The guitar riff continues, even as Smiley stops playing and leans over to a microphone to beatbox.
From there, he adds bass, keyboard, tambourine and a beat from a simple drum kit, then more guitar and vocals, intermittently reaching over to tap a pedal with his foot. “Why would I want to be anywhere else?” Smiley sings as the song reaches its climactic chorus.