Raised along the sandy dunes of West Michigan, Tony Bakker has been playing electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and piano since he was very young. At age 17, he said goodbye to the Lake Michigan shoreline and moved to Nashville, TN to attend Belmont University.
He began playing lead and rhythm guitar for a number of singers and bands soon after arriving in Nashville, and at age 19 began touring the country with rock band Sweet T. After returning to Belmont University to finish his degree in Commercial Guitar, Bakker continued to play for many successful singers. His professional experience as a guitarist includes playing live for Brett Eldredge (Atlantic Records), Clark Richard (Sony/EMI), Eric Paslay (EMI Records Nashville), Ryan Griffin, Susan Ashton, and many more. The groups he has performed with have shared the stage with many platinum selling artists including Keith Urban, Jars of Clay, Eddie Money, and Trick Pony. In addition to live performances, Bakker has done extensive studio work for some of Nashville’s top names including #1 hit producer Greg Droman ("Every Storm Runs Out of Rain" by Gary Allan).
“I love listening to artists that make their guitar sound like it’s talking,” says Bakker. His favorite guitarists include Eric Clapton, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Brent Mason, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dickey Betts, Duane Allman, and Mike Campbell.
Bakker learned the business end of the music industry working for a number of different publishing companies, most recently serving a 4 year stint as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Warner Music Group’s division, Word Music.
After starting SixStringCountry.com with longtime friend and music industry veteran Ryan Beuschel, Bakker returned to the dunes of West Michigan. Bakker continues to run the innovative guitar learning platform from his studio there.
Bakker is an active singer, songwriter and guitarist, and regularly performs solo, as a duo (w/ Matt Hanegraaff), and with his band Tony Bakker & the Mercy Wheel. The Mercy Wheel's debut record, 29, can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and everywhere digital music is sold. Bakker collaborated on the song Easy with The Voice runner-up Lauren Duski. Duski sang throughout the record and frequently performed with the group. Tony Bakker & the Mercy Wheel's album General Reflections on Being Human is available on CD, vinyl, and everywhere digital music is sold.