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Interview:
Tony Furtado's Fans Hanging In, Depite Changes
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK



Tony Furtado grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area “watching MTV and practicing my banjo at the same time.”

So his evolution from bluegrass to instrumental roots music to the more structured, rockoriented style of his last two albums — 2004’s “These Chains” and the new “Thirteen” — has felt natural for the 39-yearold multi-instrumentalist. And he claims it hasn’t tested his audience, either.

“They’ve dug it,” Furtado says. “They’re kind of coming along for the ride. People have been with me through it all.

“I think if I would’ve gone from my fi rst album 17 years ago to (‘Thirteen’) instantly, it would’ve been a little harsh for my system, even. But I don’t think there’s been anything that’s been that jarring from album to album. It’d kind of been a gradual transition.”

Furtado pushes his luck a little on “Thirteen” — and not just with stylized covers of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,”

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” and Elton John’s “Take Me to the Pilot.” He adopted a theme of “good luck/bad luck/no luck” for the, yes, 13 songs on the album, which deal with everything from romantic turmoil (“Another Man”) to the 2006 Sago mine disaster (“Thirteen Below”).

He even had fun with the “Thirteen” idea. The album’s sixth song is “Sevens” (six plus seven equals 13, get it?) and considered skipping the 13th track and going right to 14, like a building that doesn’t have a 14th floor. But he decided that was “too cute.”

“I realized it was my 13th album,” Furtado says. “And then, strangely enough, when I’d look at a clock it’d be 4:13 or whatever. It was kind of weird, and it still happens. I’m still seeing 13 everywhere.

“I’m not a numberologist or anything, but it’s kind of fun, you know? It’s kinda cool to tie a theme into an album like that and just go with it.”



Tony Furtado performs at 8 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 15) at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $15. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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