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Audio CD, January 23, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

: "Thirteen" reveals an artist with a great deal on his mind and a full arsenal of skills with which to express his thoughts and feelings in a captivating way. The album features an all-star cast: keyboardists Sean Slade (producer for The Dresden Dolls, Uncle Tupelo, Radiohead) and Jim Dickinson (Stones, Dylan, John Hiatt, Ry Cooder), bassist Dusty Wakeman (Dwight Yoakum, Lucinda Williams), drummer Winston Watson (Dylan, Giant Sand), and Wavelab's Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case, Iron & Wine), who produced and engineered the album. Furtado makes an exponential leap into the wide open spaces of mythopoetic America, a terrain inhabited by such personal heroes as Cooder, The Band, Creedence, Petty, and Waits. This heartfelt, multi-leveled work completes Tony's ascent from the folk circuit to the big leagues

Born under a bad sign? Hardly. Tony Furtado's 13th release finds the singer/songwriter/guitarist/banjo master in superb form, unspooling roots music driven by his five- and six-string skills and dusky, emotionally riveting voice. His previous release, These Chains, proved he could compose tunes as powerful as the instrumental covers that often dominated previous discs, and Thirteen's baker's dozen of tracks--all but three written or co-written by Furtado--continue that process. Although it's predominantly acoustic, he fronts a band of veterans that breathes life and adds a terse edge to thought-provoking tunes that mesh personal and world politics with the same deceptive ease as they update Furtado's traditionally oriented beginnings.

The title cut describes the January 2006 Sago mine disaster, in which 12 of 13 men died. It fuses drama and a conventional folk style with lyrics that describe the incident through the eyes of an omniscient poet. Natural tragedy is also the theme of the reflective "California Flood," while a radically rearranged version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" transforms the rocker into a soft, spooky hymn that resonates as forcefully as the original. A rendering of Elton John's "Take Me to the Pilot" doesn't fare quite as well, but when Furtado digs into the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," he changes it from an arena-rock anthem to a rootsy, introspective examination of the duplicity of youth culture. Thirteen is a sparse, mature, relaxed, but far from mellow album that shows Furtado refining his talents as an expressive vocalist, intelligent interpreter, and vivid songwriter who also happens to be an extraordinary guitarist. --Hal Horowitz

1. Used Again
2. California Flood
3. Won't Get Fooled Again
4. Thirteen Below
5. Hurtin' In My Right Side
6. Sevens
7. Another Man
8. I Wait For This
9. Fortunate Son
10. The Alcohol
11. Take Me To The Pilot
12. Stay Awhile
13. Long Journey Home

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 23, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Funzalo
  • ASIN: B000LP6KNA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,445 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John on January 25, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is vintage virtuoso Tony Furtado in an commendable effort to make a commercial album, perhaps get some notoriety, that appears to have flopped. The manufacture has quit production. It won't win hearts in the jam-band crowds, it isn't blue-grass, and it's too sophisticated for popular country listeners, to whom it was futility marketed to. Full of blues, rock, and bluegrass sounds, it requires a eclectic ear for those genres, and perhaps an attitude that doesn't mind Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash because its country. Tony, you're always going to be an artist and not an "entertainer", and that's probably why your most enthusiastic fans like you.
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