Tony Furtado On Deering Live

by David Bandrowski

I first came upon Tony Furtado's banjo playing in the early 90's when I was about 20 years old. I was at the record store browsing the bluegrass/folk or whatever they were calling it section and saw this CD with a banjo on it put out by Rounder Records. two good points in my book at the time. I bought it and gave it a try and soon it became one of my go to disks that I would put on. I later found out more about who Tony was via the Banjo Newsletter and learned that he had won the National Banjo Competition at the Winfield, Kansas festival. Obviously he knew what he was doing. Tony's playing was right in the direction I was aiming at the time. Bluegrass based but fused with a lot more experimentation and influences from music of all styles. 

Tony continued to put out more records of a very high caliber but the banjo became less of his primary instrument and acoustic slide guitar and songwriting became more front and center of his act. Hence, he kind of fell off the banjo scene. When I learned of his 2021 release Decembering from a comment on our blog post of Our Favorite Banjo Albums From 2021 saying that Tony had put out a banjo focused album in 2021 I was more than excited to check it out.  This album picks up right where Tony's banjo albums left off and is fantastic. I would definitely include it on my choices of favorite 2021 banjo albums. 

Watch Tony Furtado talk about his career, his approach to the banjo, and more on this week's episode of Deering Live. If you aren't familiar with his banjo playing, then check out the playlist of some of his banjo recordings below.



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