Tony Furtado is an indie record label’s dream artist. He has lived primarily on the road for the last two decades. He is gregarious, engaging and entertaining, on and off stage. He’s been called a genius on banjo and slide guitar, and his own creative interpretation-hybrid of Americana and indie folk/rock is engaging and captivating. Furtado has often been compared to Ry Cooder and Paul Simon in his latest albums as he guides his attention to detail and proclivity for traditional music into the pop framework. Onstage, whether playing with a band or solo, he owns the room, mixing stories of his travels with musicianship that is off the charts.
Tony Furtado grew up in Pleasanton, CA and took up the banjo at age 12. At age 19, he entered himself and WON his first of a pair of National Banjo Championships in Winfield, Kansas. Hailed as a banjo prodigy, he signed his first record deal with Rounder Records in 1992. He went on to record 6 albums for the prestigious indie label, collaborating with the likes of Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Mike Marshall, and Kelly Joe Phelps among others. In the late 90s, with the inclusion of slide guitar and songwriting to his arsenal, Furtado began fronting his own band and touring heavily throughout the U.S. This shift was inspired and influenced by the paths taken by musical heroes such as Ry Cooder, David Lindley, and Taj Mahal. He has gone on to record and produce albums for Dualtone, What Are Records, and Funzalo Records.
“Tony Furtado is a major musical force without a doubt. He has his black belt in voice, bottleneck guitar and his banjo playing scares the crap out of me.” – David Lindley
“The devil will eventually want a guitar lesson from Tony Furtado, but he’ll have to wait in line like the rest of us.” – Willy Porter