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Tony Furtado Band

Tony Furtado

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Album Review

Mixing elements of Ry Cooder's American R&B pickin', Bela Fleck's bluegrass-jazz fusion, and Kelly Joe Phelps' dusty folk-Delta blues (Phelps also contributes high-profile vocals to three tracks), accomplished banjo player and guitarist Tony Furtado pushes all sorts of stylistic envelopes on this indie release. From the moody Americana of a rearranged "Raleigh and Spencer" to an album-closing version of Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home," Furtado's vision stays focused as he peels off intricate and often lightning-fast riffs, yet never lets his obvious technical excellence overwhelm a song's melodic structure. Also impressive is the crystal-clear sound of this album, featuring an airy, uncluttered mix where all the unplugged instruments (including Darrel Anger's fiddle, tablas, Uilleann pipes, accordion, and sax) sound like they're in your room playing simultaneously. Furtado shifts from jazzy interludes to Celtic, bluegrass, and C&W styles with effortless poise, never needlessly grandstanding but keeping the spotlight on his immaculate picking and phenomenal backing musicians. As accomplished on guitar as on banjo (his primary instrument), the picker adds only what is needed to the songs, keeping them sparse yet filled with interesting twists and angles. The upbeat Leo Kottke-styled instrumental "Fat Fry on the Hog Farm" and the beautifully languid ballad "O Amante" are two of the album's six original compositions that show Furtado is as accomplished a songwriter as musician and arranger. Unpretentious and classy as its low-key cover art, this is a consistently winning album that shows off Tony Furtado's eclectic talents as master string picker, bandleader, vocalist, and composer.

Customer Reviews

Awesome!

Tony has so much talent. Everything he does shines!

5 stars

Tony has the sound of some kind of mountain lion about to pounce his prey. Its mysterious and I want to say it has a western sound. Not a country sound, but a good relaxing sound which makes me want to sit back and have a beer. Good cd !

One of my favorite CDs

I was at the release party/show for this CD at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado around 1999. I was visiting and had never heard of the band. The only thing better than this CD was standing in front of the stage in a packed house hearing them live. I bought a bunch of CDs at the show to bring back East to my husband and our friends. This is NOT my parent's folk music, and you don't have to love bluegrass to appreciate this sound.

Biography

Born: October 18, 1967 in Pleasanton, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An accomplished banjo and slide guitar player whose music incorporates elements of folk, blues, jazz, and rock, Tony Furtado has earned a loyal following through enthusiastic reviews, equally appreciative word of mouth, and nearly constant touring, playing as many as 250 dates a year. Born in Pleasanton, California on October 18, 1967, Furtado became interested in music as a child, building his first makeshift banjo when he was just nine years of age. Soaking up the influences of bluegrass, folk,...
Full Bio