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Rhythm & Views

Tony Furtado


Tony Furtado may not actually live in Tucson, but he's pretty much an honorary citizen; the cover of his 10th album, 13, has him standing by Daniel Martin Diaz's artistic rendering of that number by the stage at Club Congress, and the record was produced by Craig Schumacher at Wavelab. 13 was released on local label Funzalo, and Furtado's bluegrass and country-infused rock has a tinge of that certain airy, laid-back Tucson sound to it.

Furtado's bluegrassy take on The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" pairs well with a slide-guitar-enhanced version of John Fogerty's "Fortunate Son," and Furtado's own songs showcase the slew of talent helping Furtado out on the record. There's Bob Dylan's former drummer, Winston Watson, keeping the tempo sweet and solid; producers Sean Slade (Radiohead, Pixies, Dresden Dolls) and Jim Dickinson (Ry Cooder, Rolling Stones) caressing the Wurlitzer, organ and piano; and Portland, Ore., singer-songwriter Stephanie Schneiderman offering vocals that provide a smooth complement to Furtado's own James Taylor-esque voice.

But something raw is at work in songs like "Another Man" and the dramatic "Thirteen Below," inspired by the Sago mine disaster last January; with its mournful guitar melody and refrain of "13 was a lucky man, 12 lost below," "Thirteen Below" sounds like it could have been written 100 years ago. Even among playful tunes like "Sevens" and "I Wait for This," in Furtado's banjo and slide guitar, raw emotion still burns.

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