Although he started his career as an award-winning banjo player, Tony Furtado has largely abandoned both that instrument and his bluegrass roots. Instead, he's focused on playing the guitar, composing, and singing, carving a distinctive niche of folk/blues originals and covers that resonate with agile picking and dusky vocals. His second live album is, as its title suggests, a solo affair that cherry-picks from his catalog and adds newly recorded, imaginatively rearranged covers of Tom Petty's "Running Down a Dream
" and the Beatles' "I Will
With a playing style that shows the influence of Ry Cooder, Leo Kottke, and Jorma Kaukonen, Furtado's nimble fingers show a jaw-dropping proficiency on his instrument. But even at his most flashy, he never lets his impressive technical prowess detract from the introspective, often poignant songs such as the heartbreaking instrumental "Can You Hear the Rain" and the traditional folk of "False Hearted Lover's Blues." Furtado kicks up his slide on a raging and passionate version of the old prison work song "Oh Berta, Berta" and a dizzying "Cypress Grove Blues." The exquisite recording quality of this live document brings clarity to every note as Furtado weaves his web of folk magic and mystery with chilling and hypnotic intensity. --Hal Horowitz
An inspired player who has gained respect through his impressive guitar playing and world class bango playing. Mixes modern day music with traditional, creating a sound distinctly his.