. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tony Furtado Concert in Los Alamos

Every summer season in Los Alamos a man named Russ Gordon puts together a Summer Concert Series, which are weekly concerts completely free to the public made possible through fundraisers and donations of sponsors in the area. We've been going to the concerts for as long as we have lived here (though not as often in later years since we bought our camper) and always enjoyed the Friday night musical events when we attended.

One of the first concerts we saw was in around 1999 and saw Tony Furtado and have been fans ever since. The second time he came to town for the Summer Concert was in 2001; my youngest son was only a few days old and my parents were visiting. I have great memories of that evening of wonderful music and of Mom holding the baby. Then a third time, Tony came to town in about 2004 and signed a t-shirt for me that I gave to my dad for his birthday (Dad plays banjo as well and loves Tony's music too). From there, Tony didn't come back to our little Summer Concert Series anymore, hitting the "big time" and moving to Portland, Oregon. He came to Albuquerque a couple of years ago, but we couldn't afford the concert tickets! So when I heard last week that Tony was coming to Los Alamos to play as a benefit to the Concert Series (and as a friend of Russ Gordon's), I wanted to go. Ticket prices were reasonable since it was a fundraiser and so it was meant to be. It was held at the Blue Window Bistro restaurant, which is a good place to eat (try the Southwest Chicken) so we decided to have dinner there before the concert.

Tony came alone, without the band, but brought a banjo (5-string), acoustic guitar, and electric guitar. He played and sang some old favorites of mine, some awesome banjo tunes, and the remaining 50% was music from his newest CD, "Deep Water," which is more folk-rock than his previous CDs. His slide guitar playing was mesmerizing and his banjo picking was fantastic. I found myself watching his hands as he played. His new songs were more modern and touched my heart. I've included some lyrics for you to read, but you really have to hear the songs to truly appreciate them.

I learned many things from Tony last night:
  1. A guitar string can be used to replace a broken 1st string of a banjo, but only in desperate situations such as at live concerts.
  2. "Let go the heavy; lighten up your load. If it aint what you need, let it go."
  3. Tony started to play guitar because it wasn't as heavy as the banjo and standing for 5 hours singing with a banjo was not easy.
  4. "Don't rest your soul on what you've been."
  5. Tony played his banjo along with songs on MTV as a kid when MTV still played music.
  6. "Shadows only know the color of cold."
  7. "The touch of skin can bring you back to life."
  8. "A soul weighs 21 grams."
Some song lyrics were especially poignant. Here are three songs that I particularly liked that were new to me.

Waste of the Moon (From his newest album "Deep Water," 2009)
Wither and shiver, rain on my skin
Covered my face in the shape that I'm in
Searching for solace in something that's true
Just here to witness the waste of the moon
Layers of lovers, stars in the night
Angels and devils slipping from sight
I could love you forever but I'd be a fool
Just here to witness the waste of the moon
Only the echos and embers remain
Still feel your fingertips tracing my name
It's time I finally let go of you
To be here to witness the waste of the moon
Wade through the ruins, sun at my back
Cold chill of winter beginning to crack
What's left to say when there's nothing to do
Just here to witness the waste of the moon
Only the echos and embers remain
Still feel your fingertips tracing my name
It's time I finally let go of you
To be here to witness the waste of the moon
Darkest Day (From his newest album "Deep Water" and written for his parents)
I've had open roads run through my life
And I've chosen few that served me right
But there's one thing through, a constant light
You will guide me through my darkest night
You will guide me through my darkest night
Well I've seen my dreams slip miles away
All the brilliant colors fade to gray
I don't mind what unkind fools might say
You will guide me through my darkest day
You will guide me through my darkest day
Through the dimming harm of an angry world
Your voice is full of light
Only you can tame my troubled mind
Rolling cold as life unfolds
Confused along the way
I can always look to you and say
You will guide me through my darkest day
You will guide me through my darkest day
Waste Away the Night With You (from the album "Graciously-A Gulf Benefit Compilation" recorded after Hurricane Katrina, 2006)
I like lazy days that come with rain
I like the way your mouth tastes like sugar cane
Let's take it real slow until we get it right
Then we'll find some time to waste away the night
Waste away the night with you
That's all I want to do
Let the whole world slip away
At least until we're through
Waste away the night with you
I've nothing left to prove
Do we have to face the day
Waste away the night with you
I like to hear your voice whispering my name
Real soft and low at the end of the day
Let's watch the clouds cross the dimming sky
Then I'll watch you watching me with those sleepy eyes
Waste away the night with you
That's all I want to do
Let the whole world slip away
At least until we're through
Waste away the night with you
I've nothing left to prove
Do we have to face the day
Waste away the night with you
Here's a clip of one of his banjo medleys that he played last night. Of course, the sound is not very good from my cell phone (which is all I had with me, not my trusty camera), but you can definitely hear the talent and the crowd's enjoyment (I hope it's not illegal to post this!).

video

Tony does have a MySpace site where he's got a couple of songs to listen to, such as the title track of his newest CD, "Deep Water" and the banjo tune "The Bawds of Euphony."

~~~~~~~~~
Neat

2 comments:

Neat Rox said...

dscriv posted this in a different blog entry (oops)

Like you, I love Tony and can't wait to get his newest album. I will always thank you for introducing him to me. I know you had a great evening and thank you for sharing.

Love,
Dad

October 25, 2009 6:38 PM

Neat Rox said...

Dad, I went ahead and downloaded the whole album from iTunes and love it. The CD is $15 but the download is $10. I can play it for you at Thanksgiving!