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Tony Furtado is a major musical force without a doubt. He has his black belt in voice, bottleneck guitar and his banjo playing scares the crap out of me. David Lindley
Tony Furtado is an indie record label’s dream artist. He has lived primarily on the road for the last two decades. He is gregarious, engaging and entertaining, on and off stage. He’s been called a genius on banjo and slide guitar, and his own creative interpretation-hybrid of Americana and indie folk/rock is engaging and captivating. Furtado has often been compared to Ry Cooder and Paul Simon in his latest albums as he guides his attention to detail and proclivity for traditional music into the pop framework. Onstage, whether playing with a band or solo, he owns the room, mixing stories of his travels with musicianship that is off the charts.
Tony Furtado grew up in Pleasanton, CA and took up the banjo at age 12. At age 19, he entered himself and WON his first of a pair of National Banjo Championships in Winfield, Kansas. Hailed as a banjo prodigy, he got his first record deal with Rounder Records in 1992. He went on to record 6 albums for the prestigious label, collaborating with the likes of Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Mike Marshall, Kelly Joe Phelps among others! In the late 90s, with the inclusion of slide guitar and songwriting to his arsenal, Furtado began fronting his own band and touring heavily throughout the U.S. This shift was inspired and influenced by the paths taken by musical heroes such as Ry Cooder, David Lindley, and Taj Mahal among others. He has gone on to record and produce albums for Dualtone, What Are Records, and Funzalo Records. And now, with his latest release, “Live at Mississippi Studios”, he lets it all shine with his deftly talented band:
Ironically, Mississippi Studios is in Oregon, but then again, Tony Furtado has always been partial to the ironic. After winning a couple National Bluegrass Banjo Championships as a teenager, Furtado decided that he wanted to master slide guitar instead. And after critics started referring to him as a roots music prodigy, he decided it was time to explore blues and Pop. His recent DVD/CD, Live at Mississippi Studios, chronicles a night of diverse originals by this ever-evolving musician. And whether the gossamer folk of “Golden,” newgrass energies of “Portlandia” or aggressive rock of “Toe The Line,” Furtado’s virtuosic playing spans all forms of instruments and genres throughout the evening. His honeyed croon and poetic lyricism prove to be the performance’s greatest through-line, wholly convincing onlookers that true talent doesn’t need categories. Fady Khalil” — Fady Khalil, Relix
Golden - AOTS Live
Ashes of a Man - LIVE
The original version of this song appears on "The Bell"
Double Dig Blues
1: What artist would you most love to work with?
Tom Waits or Ry Cooder, or both at the same time.
2: What instrument brings you the most joy?
3: What was the worst advice?
Don't take chances
4: What was your first concert?
FIrst concert I saw was Doug Kershaw, The Ragin' Cajun, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds when I was 12, decided then and there I wanted to be a performer, he was pretty wild and looked like he was having a blast.
5: What/where is the best road food?
No answer provided.
6: What’s the best music advice you ever got?
7: Who is your most surprising inspiration?