Tony Furtado and the American Gypsies
First Appeared at The Music Box, September 2003, Volume 10, #9
Written by John Metzger
There are so many ways that Live Gypsy could have gone wrong, but Tony Furtado deftly avoided all of the pitfalls that lay before him. Instead of becoming an endless series of soulless solos, a dry stab at virtuoso bluegrass, a scattered attempt at enlightened eclecticism, a bland display of jazz-fusion, or a coerced shot at pleasing the jam band crowd, Furtado resists being bound by the chains that typically have restricted those traversing similar genre-bending paths. Throughout Live Gypsy he fuses funk, folk, bluegrass, jazz, blues, and rock into an efficacious concert document, accented beautifully by his plucky banjo and sterling slide guitar. Blissfully soaring over the top are the horn and flute contributions of Paul McCandless, while John R. Burr adds tasty keyboard accompaniments that playfully dance and shape the contours of the songs. Underneath it all, the rhythm section of bass player Myron Dove and drummer Tom Brechtlein positively cooks. The end result is that the group grooves like Traffic, snarls like Jimi Hendrix, boogies like Little Feat, broils like the North Mississippi Allstars, shimmers like Béla Fleck, and improvises like John Coltrane. The only downside to Live Gypsy is that Furtado isn’t the finest vocalist on the planet, but the music is far too good to leave sitting on the store shelf collecting dust. ˝
Live Gypsy is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box