Tony Furtado Tickets
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Award-winning banjo player Tony Furtado is also enjoying a status as being a slide guitar player of Portuguese and Italian heritage. He became a banjo player at the ripe age while in sixth grade after doing a report on the instrument.
Tony dove headlong into banjo playing, practicing for hours each day. He started making a rough banjo out of household items and studying the history of it.
As a young banjo player, Tony Furtado found himself playing Bluegrass, the genre of music most represented by the instrument. By 19, he had got off to win a pair of National Bluegrass Banjo Championships and was deemed a prodigy.
Tony Furtado has released 13 albums and played with and opened for several notable musicians such as Greg Allman, Jerry Douglas, Keith Richards, Eric Johnson, Derek Trucks, Alison Krauss, The String Cheese Incident, Little Feat, Leftover Salmon, and Taj Mahal.
His 1987 win at the National Banjo Competition led to a touring sideman stint with bluegrass musician (fiddle) Laurie Lewis (Laurie Lewis and Grant Street) and the launch of his professional career. He repeated this feat in 1991. Furtado came up with a new album, 13, in January 2007 on the Funzalo label of Arizona.
Tony Furtado has spent his decades in the music business blending together bluegrass, country, rock, blues, jazz, and folk (both American and European) on his expanding instrument arsenal. His instrument arsenal included banjo, guitar, slide guitar and voice.
However, Bluegrass was only one style of music that has always interested him. Furtado also has issued numerous solo albums, including Swamped, Within Reach, Full Circle, American Gypsy, Live Gypsy, Roll My Blues Away, These Chains, Tony Furtado Band, and Bare Bones.
Tony Furtados album 13 is a mix of originals and covers, totalling 13 selections. The record represents the artist's thirteenth album release, and he made it when he was 3x13 years old. The album title, and the title cut refer to the horrid Sago coal mine explosion in West Virginia in early 2006 that saw 13 miners trapped underground.
Despite the horror of the event, Furtado says writing the song was quite easy. Three covers grace Thirteen: The Who classic Won't Get Fooled Again, Elton John's Take Me To The Pilot, and Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fortunate Son. While commenting on it, he said that wont get fooled again' just felt great.
He started doing these cover songs at live shows solo, and it was an easy choice. Tony Furtado remembered hearing Fortunate Son when he was a kid. His parents had a couple of old Creedence Clearwater Revival albums that he listened to all the time. Other people used to suggest him the Elton John song, and so he tried it.
He was working on getting comfortable, but that was a fun song though. Talking about the title cult of 13 he said that one day his manager turned to him and asked if he ever had any mining songs.? He had never written any mining songs. His manager told him about Sago mine disaster.
Tony Furtado started reading up a bunch about Sago mine disaster and realized how tragic and intense it was. He had a melody that was sitting around from another song that he had written that just seemed to work.
He took that melody and married it with some verses that he wrote, and he came up with a chorus. The song was a kind of just all fell into place. Of the tender and somewhat bittersweet original song California Flood, Furtado says that musically he was listening to a lot of Elliott Smith at the time.
So he has to think he was influenced a bit by that. Lyrically, he thinks he had written a little poem about being a kid and thinking about summers on the California Delta.
Furtado had a boat out there where some of the different things were intertwined, memories of his folks and just some different personal problems. He knows it's kind of abstract, but he thinks they are kind of intertwined.
Tony Furtado currently resides in Portland, Oregon, and tours the U.S. extensively. His picking is rapid-fire quick, sharp and clear, and puts him in the school of Bela Fleck and David Grisman.
Furtado mixes rootsy, old time, folk, indie-rock, blues, and jazz styles and as a banjo virtuoso, he is well-known for his envelope-pushing, progressive bluegrass stylings.