The Bell

by Tony Furtado

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about

“Tony Furtado is a major musical force without a doubt. He has his black
belt in voice and bottleneck guitar and his banjo playing scares the crap out of me.”
David Lindley, musical adventurer

Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music. Tony is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef (he’s also an accomplished sculptor, but that’s another story). All of the music of America is in Tony’s music. Relix hit the nail on the head when writing of Tony: “True talent doesn’t need categories.”
A native of Pleasanton, California, who now makes his home in Portland, Oregon, Tony Furtado took up the banjo at age 12, inspired by the Beverly Hillbillies TV show and a sixth grade music report. He first attracted national attention in 1987, when he won the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Not long after that, Tony opted for the life of a full-time professional musician, joining Laurie Lewis & Grant Street. A second victory at Winfield, in 1991, bookended his years with Grant Street.
In 1990, Tony signed a recording deal with Rounder Records, one of the country’s preeminent independent record companies. Beginning with Swamped in 1990, he recorded six critically acclaimed albums for the label, collaborating with such master musicians as Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, Kelly Joe Phelps and Mike Marshall. During this period, Tony also performed and recorded with the band Sugarbeat and the Rounder Banjo Extravaganza with Tony Trischka and Tom Adams.
Beginning in the late 1990s—influenced by such musical heroes as Ry Cooder, David Lindley and Taj Mahal—Tony added slide guitar, singing and songwriting to his musical toolbox and began leading his own band. He is a tireless road musician who performs in a dizzying variety of formats: solo, in a duo or trio or with his full five-person band. He especially values the opportunities he has had to tour with such legendary musicians as Gregg Allman and with such esteemed slide guitarists as David Lindley, Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth.
Tony has performed throughout the world at top venues and appeared at such prestigious music festivals as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Jazz Aspen, Kerrville Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Sisters Folk Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival and countless others. “I love playing live,” he says. “All my energy is focused on the love of playing music and rolling with the moment. It’s a give and take from the audience to the stage, and back. And the music that is created is something that otherwise might not occur without that flow.”
Tony has recorded and produced almost a dozen CDs for various labels such as Dualtone, What Are Records and Funzalo Records. Tony enthusiastically describes his newest CD, The Bell, as “the most personal of my career.” To be released this summer on his own YousayFurtado Records, The Bell is an important release for several reasons: it represents a return to Tony’s banjo-playing roots, with the banjo and cello-banjo more prominent than in recent years; the original songs concern such weighty themes as the loss of his father, the birth of his son and his own creative rebirth with the move to a new record label and management team; his working band is featured; and, most important of all, this is the first album in a long time on which Tony had complete artistic control. It’s his music, done his way.

credits

released June 15, 2015

All songs written by Anthony Furtado (Laughing Rabbit Music - Sesac)
Produced by Tony Furtado and Rob Stroup
Recorded at 8-Ball Studio in Portland, OR
Recorded and mixed by Rob Stroup
Mastered by Jim Blackwood at AZPM Mastering, Tucson AZ
Cover photo by Ben Moon
Album layout and graphic art by Sally Truitt

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about

Tony Furtado Portland, Oregon

“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
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Track Name: Broken Bell
The Bell

Tolling low has cracked my shell
Don't waste your hammer on a broken bell
A broken bell a broken bell
Don't waste your hammer on a broken bell

Shadows rise when they hear the call
Shine the light and you watch em fall
Watch em fall with the coming day
Shine the light and they fade away

chorus-
(Well) I let you in, to see inside
But you will never chain my mind
You will never chain my mind

verse
Cut your lies with a rusty tongue
Built your house with the deeds you done
The deeds you done got a ringing sound
Deeds you done gonna tear you down

(chorus)

Four to one copper and tin
Copper and tin for a shiny skin
A shiny skin shimmering new
Copper and tin to ring it true

Tolling low has cracked my shell
Don't waste your hammer on a broken bell
A broken bell a broken bell
Don't waste your hammer on a broken bell

(chrous)
Track Name: Tired Lion
Tired Lion

Rushing down the road
The life that you have learned
All the things you've done to you
Your chest begins to burn

You feel it closing in
It's all around you now
The very thing you thought you owned
Is falling from the bone

When will the sun come
When will I hear the tired lion
When will I hear the tired lion again

Time is like the wind
Winding through the dust
You feel the weight of an angry God
And the blade makes the cut

Deep inside your skin
You feel the water flee
You can't stop the failing
Of a vessel that won't be

When will the sun come
When will I hear the tired lion
When will I hear the tired lion again
Track Name: Dying Language
Dying Language

Sharpened words to draw the line
I got not place for your world in mine
Cold intolerant bricks in the wall
Shades of grey inside us all

CHORUS
Don't you speak to me, don't you speak to me
I can't take your twisted words of hate
Don't you speak to me, let your dying language fade away

Old man tell me what's that you said
Why is your nose stuck in their bed
Born to this world alone and wet
Nobody knows which way we'll set

CHORUS
Don't you speak to me, don't you speak to me
I can't take your twisted words of hate
Don't you speak to me, let your dying language fade away

Razor tongues fall double sharp
Its warm red blood from every heart
Perfect broken spokes in a wheel
All of us different all of us real

CHORUS
Don't you speak to me, don't you speak to me
I can't take your twisted words of hate
Don't you speak to me, let your dying language fade away
Track Name: Low Road
Low Road

You don't know the ones you broke
Only know the words you stole
The words you stole are talking to you

Lost inside the walls you built
Can't escape the dreams you killed
The dreams you killed are following you

You took the low road
You took the low road

Guided by a crooked line
Feeding from a withered vine
Withered vines bear wasted fruit

You don't know the things you've been
I'm twisting nails from my skin
And from my skin these broken chains

You took the low road
You took the low road
Its all you've ever known
You took the low road
Track Name: Tall Grass
Tall Grass

Tall grass whispers in the hills when the wind blows
You stand dreaming, deep in the willows
Two boys tumbling chasing your shadow
I see you smiling, you're lost in the echoes

Follow me through tall grass
We could walk for hours
Hide me on this hillside
Maybe we won't make our way back home
The tall grass calls and I am here alone

The hills have vanished the blackbird is silent
I see you stumbling, you're off in the distance
Two boys whisper "father is dying"
The tall grass whithers, and the willows are crying

Follow me through tall grass
We could walk for hours
Hide me on this hillside
Maybe we won't make our way back home
The tall grass calls and I am here alone
Track Name: Give Me Your Soul
Give Me Your Soul

If got my evening, routine running
I fly through the wires, my electrons are humming
I'm shaping and shifting, from circuit to shadow
I see what you're dreaming, your soul is my window

And I can't use, these things you own
I don't want your flesh and bone

Give me your soul
Give me your soul
Give me your soul

My vision is x-ray, my bodies electric
I see what Im needing, your should is magnetic
I move through your memories, Im owning your history
Im locked on and spinning, you got no way to stop me

And I can't use, these things you own
I don't want your flesh and bone

Give me your soul
Give me your soul
Give me your soul
Track Name: Ashes of a Man
Ashes of a Man

Here I go again
Sifting through ashes of what you were
A man that I knew
Strong as the earth with a gentleman's curse

You left like the wind disappears in the night
With no one to save and nothing to fight

They say I've got your eyes and the way of your hands
All that remains are the ashes of a man

Pieces of you
Just wouldn't burn when we said goodbye
The sound of your voice
Like the fire in your heart and the love in your eyes

You left like the wind disappears in the night
With no one to save and nothing to fight

They say I've got your eyes and the way of your hands
All that remains are the ashes of a man
Track Name: The Collier's Daughter
Collier's Daughter

Ice storms coming
And the collier's daughter
She's running from the sun
She's running from the sun

Sky is tattered
Her face is covered
She's bound to come undone
She's bound to come undone

Dark clouds gather
I hear you whisper
The world is standing still
The world is standing still

Old mans crumbling
The hills are dying
There's nothing left to kill
He's got nothing left to kill

Run away, don't run away
Run away don't run away
With the colliers daughter

Run away, don't run away
Run away don't run away
With the colliers daughter

Under these broken hills
Under these broken hills
Shadows fall
Under these broken hills
The collier calls
Under these broken hills

Ice storms breaking
And the collier's daughter
She's running for the sun
She's running for the sun
Track Name: Lie Alone
Lie Alone

You came crashing down
On waves of pain upon my shore
Only me to brake
Your fall and cut the cloth for more

Your hands were like felted oak
But your drunken words were stones on my heart
Love tore us both to shreds
But watching you go was the hardest part

chorus
Now I lie alone tonight
How can I ever let go
You were the one to carry me
Tonight I lie alone

Nights are like broken glass
And every shard a piece of our past
The sun comes and steals you back
Each day the pain is worse than the last

chorus
Now I lie alone tonight
How can I ever let go
You were the one to carry me
Tonight I lie alone

(bridge)

chorus
Now I lie alone tonight
How can I ever let go
You were the one to carry me
Tonight I lie alone
Track Name: Star
Star
Verse-
Chasing the days
Like a lost child
I got no time left to play
Or wander through the wild

Eyes bright and wide
he's all teeth and tongue
Love and light come tangled
In a shining little son

Chorus-
Hold to your light
don't ever lose your star
All of your life
Is a road to what you are

Verse-
Both hands in the sky
He's two feet from the ground
One big happy heart
For the whole world round

Chorus
Hold to your light
don't ever lose your star
All of your life
Is a road to what you are