Tony Furtado Band 3.10.11
Words By Nicholas Stock (Phat Phlog Photo Blog)
I heard about Tony Furtado Band playing at a coffee shop kind of last minute, but when I saw who he was playing with, I was sold. Tony had assembled local stalwarts Eric Thorin and Tyler Grant alongside veteran Jim Christie on the kit. It’s a nice ensemble to say the least, so Amy and I made our way down to Everyday Joe's which doubles as a church on Sunday mornings. I grabbed a hot cocoa and a table to the right of the stage. People slowly filled the room, and at its peak, there were only fifty people or so that attended including the staff. Tyler Grant took the stage with just his guitar to get the show started.
It was a subdued but incredibly attentive crowd. It felt sort of special considering the lack of a large audience and the talent we were about to witness. Sure, hundreds of my friends were at The String Cheese Incident at 1st Bank, but I had no problem being at a church witnessing some fantastic acoustic music. Towards the end of his first song, a train passed through town with a loud honk, prompting Grant to say, "Wrong song." He then went into an appropriate “Mr. Railroad Man”, and as he struck the last note the train vanished from the massive windows at the front of the room. He played a couple instrumentals before heading off the stage. At this point, four women took the couch to my right. I don't know why it happens but even in the most subdued environments there always seems to be a handful of girls who think they are at a bachelorette party. They were a slight distraction because no one else was taking above a whisper. Grant left the stage and Furtado made his way up with Thorin and Christie. They played as a three-piece before inviting Grant back up for the title track to Tony's new album, Golden. They mixed in some Bill Monroe tunes, but the highlights of his first set were a pair of new songs entitled “Angels We Know” and “Portlandia”. Furtado said that “Portlandia” was named after a sculpture of the same name, and with its driving banjo and amazing rhythm, the song was a showstopper. Even the drunk bachelorettes quieted down! Furtado commented on the fact that he had played a lot with Thorin and Christie but was just getting to know Grant. I found this to be a bit ironic considering just how talented and accomplished Tyler is, but I was happy to see them playing so well together.
Furtado took the stage by himself to fulfill a request of Tom Petty's “Running Down A Dream” from a member of the audience. His playing on this song was delicate, and it felt very much like he was playing his guitar with his banjo in mind. The members of the Tony Furtado Band headed back to the stage this time joined by Boulder picker Greg Schochet on mandolin and absolutely killed it with “Hurtin’ On My Right Side" to end the first set.
The second set saw the core four performers returning for the duration. The show was very pleasing overall. The music offered a diverse sound all evening with Furtado pulling deep cuts from his catalog. Highlights included a beautiful “Standing in the Rain” as well as a crunchy granola version of “Need” which Tony mentioned was based on a bumper sticker he saw that simply said "Need Less." We finished our coffee and headed towards the door as they were starting their encore. I had a light ache in my heart for missing The String Cheese Incident, but I knew that I had made the most of the situation by attending the down tempo, intricate, acoustic show in a house of the Lord.