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Tony Furtado

Before Tony Furtado became a highly-regarded slide guitarist/banjo player, he studied art and music at Cal State Hayward. It was during that time that he went on a whim to Kansas and entered the Grand National Banjo Championship and won. It was then that Furtado's solid musical potential soared into the bluegrass ranks and led him on the road with Laurie Lewis and Grant Street, playing bluegrass and old-time music. This musical trail led him to ink a deal with Rounder Records to record his debut solo record, Swamped, which was released in 1992.

Furtado continued recording music, playing into some of his favorite artists such as Bela Fleck and Earl Scruggs. He released Within Reach in 1992 with the help of luminaries Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, Stuart Duncan, and David Grier and headed out on the road in support of both records, as well as picking up Sugarbeat, a folk-funk-acoustic-bluegrass band. Furtado and Sugarbeat have supported each other since 1993.

His eclectic approach in playing swing, jazz style, Celtic-folk, and old-timey music has shaped Furtado's musical maturations to the point that they are compared to Ry Cooder's early '70s recordings. 1994's Full Circle marked Furtado's third album and a discovery of his passion for acoustic blues and slide guitar, citing musical influences like Cooder and Blind Willie Johnson. He continued to draw upon his own musical influences while in search for his own personal sound during the recording of 1997's Roll My Blues Away, a power hungry, blues-driven record produced by Cookie Marenco (Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Charlie Haden, Oregon). He jammed with country alternative rock fiddler/accordion player Dirk Powell for their self-titled collaboration two years later, as well as a rock-intensive album that offered a full band including Buckethead. But his next true solo album, American Gypsy, appeared on the What Are Records? label in 2002. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

"The Angry Monk sounds like Bela Fleck on guitar" -someone's great comment in here. We saw Furtado in 1996 @ Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Festival!!! ) . What a treat to see Tony for the first time in the San Juan Mountains. Magical and timeless.
rgary_mcknig h t
Yay!
I thought it was that wimpy Paul Simon doing a version of Creedence Clearwater's Fortunate Son song. I don't care for this guy
ttameler
Just saw Furtado at the Steam Plant in Salida, CO what a wonderful treat. Our 8 year old son was also with us, he wants to lean to play the Banjo. Thank you for inspiring young (and old) :)
purohit2
I know he didn't write them, but the lyrics to If I Had a Boat don't make sense. You'd ride a pony, on your boat? That doesn't seem practical. What kind of pony is going to stay still on a boat, anyway?
Was getting my Ray Wylie Hubbard fix and was so blessed to have found another great artist.
Saw him open up for Eric Johnson at The Majestic in Ventura, CA years ago. What a great show!!! Been a fan ever since
If I Had a Boat...it's not often that you hear someone cover Lyle Lovett. Nice, I like it.
I first saw him back in 97 opening for the Sam Bush band in Raleigh , NC. OMG I wanted to laugh dance and cry for the sheer beauty, soul and joy of the music he played that night - all from this CD. I've seen him several times since and I'm still amazed at what a delightful guy he is and how stirring his music still is.
dazernator80 0
non-stop banjo!
This guy has been absolutely amazing every time I've run across him in 2000. Extremely talented, incredibly appreciative of every single person he can perform for, awesome showman, guitar, banjo, singer songwriter!
jmdperri
i want bluegrass please
Hello!!!
allison263
wow, he is fantastic. I wish he'd come out to Harvest Fest!
If you like this you will like tony trischka as well.
dmorris1109
Wow. Where has this guy been? He is powerful.
Mesmerizing. . .
@stevjnk I did see Tony play last year (2011) in Michigan at a small venue and even though the crowd was quite small, he played his heart out and sounded pretty darn spectacular.
fransita
such a sweet soul too~ met him in telluride during the bluegrass fest in '92.
Tony has become my #1 favorite discovery thru Pandora...ha s anyone seen hm play on the EastCoast? I'm curious as to where he tours out here..come on Tony leave the mountains and head east soon!
lol...defina t e l y not related
wenberep
Isn't it wild how different a path he went on from his sister Nelly??
This guy and Karl Manx! Great stuff.
The Angry Monk sounds like Bela Fleck on guitar. Stellar!
love this guy
WoW!
he's keeping this traditional sound alive and well
Great stuff Love'in this mans jam !!!!!
PLZZZZZ visit EP tx at the PLaza theater
mikebatson64
What a diverse musicical journey this man has taken. wonderful
Went to see tony play two nights ago, at a small venue in SLC. He's just as awesome a person as he is an artist. If he comes to your town don't miss him. We have followed his career since he "had no voice" in "Sugarbeat"
Awesome!
ackerbex3
I am loooooooovin ' the banjo! Where in OR does this guy play? Any chance we'll see him on the Britt statge in Jacksonville ?
lizaltizer
I am addicted to "Esperanza"!
amosearle
I heard a recording of his show at the Hotel Oregon helping fill in for his pals in Dangermuffin a couple of weeks ago on the live music archive. That show is worth a download. I'll make sure to catch him the next time he's in town based on that one show alone.
elcue
loving this!
I first heard Tony's music on the Dish Network music channel "Acoustic Crossroads"; it was like a breath of fresh air! This music is so much better than the music that has morphed itself into the crap we call "Country". This is real, this is earthy, this is the music of MY country.
julie.hochst r a s s e r
I LOVE this guy! Such great music.
Saw him for the first time a month ago at this little venue in Portland. I was really impressed. He played with Scott Law and invited several other artists to jam with him. I'm up for another, any time.
I saw him open for Greg Allman several years ago and was blown away he puts on a great show. He stayed out and talked to all the fans for a long time and signed autographs and seemed like a cool laid back guy. I am glad that he came up on this channel!!
I don't usually find myself gravitating to covers but this track is outta this world!
I've been lucky to see Tony a couple of times at local venues here in my little old Oregon town. He is great live and a very nice guy. He played a bar that my bluegrass band used to play a lot and I was telling him that my band played "If I had a boat" on that same stage just a couple of weeks previous. He got up on stage after the break, gave me a wink and a nod and busted into an extended solo of the tune. What a kind and generous performer.
stoneloco53
If you get a chance see him, great show I saw him at Riverbend 2006
had the chance to see tony a few years ago open up for yonder mountain, one hell of a opening act. i would have paid just to see him play
fits well on my Micahel Bloomfield station, it's good and blusey
tntremag
make that guitar scream my man!!! god i love this s**t! :D
Who the f??k is this hack? Not really. We're getting ready to go see this bad mofo real soon, up close AND nearby. Awesome.
jambandjelly
nice find. thanks pandora for introducing me to yet another great artist.
stuartwilb
Wow! Terrific listening!!!
richfiest
I first heard Tony in a small venue in Colorado (1998). His guitar and banjo playing are amazing and his talent have only grown since. Tony introduced me to Bluegrass, for which I will ever be thankful.
If you ever get a chance to see him live, you should not miss it.
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