Listen Up: Wednesday, July 28 2004
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PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Tony Furtado

These Chains (Funzalo Records)

These Chains, by slide-guitar and banjo player Tony Furtado, is an upbeat-sounding mix of folk sensibility, rock edge, and country-blues soul. Known mostly as an instrumentalist, Furtado also became a lyricist on this c.d., writing nine of the songs himself, co-writing three, adding his own interpretation to the traditional song “Bet on the Whitehorse,” and closing with a relatively traditional cover of Bob Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings.”

The pace is often fast and satisfying. The lyrics, when they stray beyond the ordinary, are solidly populist (folk) and, when they turn to love, properly soulful (country and blues). Fine lead and slide guitars accompany subdued drums into the land of rock. Only occasionally, as on “The Prisoner,” written with NRBQ’s Al Anderson, does Furtado slip into the bog of country-pop on this stylistically wide-ranging c.d.

“More And More” and “Good Stuff” are bluegrass-based companion stories of, respectively, despair and the possibilities of the horizon, leavened by booze and reality. The instrumental “Doc’s Bog” shares Furtado’s long fascination with Ry Cooder and Delta blues. Furtado’s bass-laced, greasy version of “Bet On The Whitehorse” is appropriately brooding.

He’s joined by a seasoned cast, which cut most of the songs in the studio live. Lucinda Williams’ band contributed three musicians — producer/bassist Dusty Wakeman, drummer Jim Christie, and guitarist Doug Pettibone — while the cream of alt-country provided the rest, including keyboardist Skip Edwards, percussionist Michael Tempo (Bonedaddies), and eastmountainsouth’s Kat Maslich and Peter Adams. Quite an All-Star collection for an all-star axe-man. Cop from www.funzalomusic.com. — Maurice Thomas


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