The Gina Furtado Project’s “Submarine” tells of dreams that seem off limits

Article Contributed by Mountain Home … | Published on Friday, May 17, 2024

Staking once again her claim as one of bluegrass music’s most distinctive artists, Mountain Home Music Company’s Gina Furtado is back with “Submarine,” a new single that illustrates her uncanny ability to wrap a provocative observation in an engaging musical package.  

“The idea for this song was not mine,” Furtado confesses. “A gentleman approached me after a show and insisted that I should write a song about the scarcity of women submarine sailors. I thought it was a bizarre idea, but it lingered in the back of my mind. Eventually, I did a late night, insomnia-driven Google search on the topic and discovered that women were not allowed on submarines in the US Navy until 2010.

“Now, I may not know anything about submarines” she continues, “but as a girl who was raised with starkly defined gender roles that almost never suited my personality and interests, I do know a thing or two about having dreams that are off limits for no reason besides not being a boy. True to bluegrass form in just one small way, this is the saddest song I've ever written, but with the happiest sounding tune.”

And, indeed, that characterization is right on the money, as The Gina Furtado Project — Gina on banjo, sisters Malia and Lu Furtado on fiddle and bass respectively and guitarist Drew Matulich, with producer Kristin Scott Benson’s husband Wayne Benson guesting on mandolin — offer a lilting, melodic confection reminiscent of countless children’s songs, yet delivers the wistfulness of a dream denied, with a stern punchline, “girls aren’t allowed in,” that contextualizes the catchy chorus:

So don’t ask me, ‘cause I’ve never seen
The world beneath the blue
But I can imagine, that it must be heaven
To look out a submarine window

As she has with her previous release, Furtado once again uses cleverness and nuance to bring a fresh perspective to her listeners with “Submarine.”

Listen to “Submarine” HERE.

About The Gina Furtado Project
Formed by innovative artist Gina Furtado, The Gina Furtado Project brings unique musicianship and songwriting that breaks free from the assumed constructs of traditional music modalities and makes a new musical statement influenced by emotion, played with the highest skill, and expressing an enormous verve and vitality.

Furtado, known for her work as the banjo player for Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, has a long history with her banjo. Born and raised in Front Royal, Virginia, Gina began touring up and down the east coast in her tween years with her siblings, earning countless ribbons from fiddlers conventions, a strong reputation in the regional bluegrass scene, and a stamp from Bluegrass Today as “absurdly talented.” She later played in a number of regional acts before making her international touring debut with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers soon after joining the group in 2016.

While touring, she is joined by Drew Matulich on guitar and her sisters Malia Furtado, on violin and Lu Furtado on bass, and each brings experience and energy to the band.

Now based in Asheville, NC, Matulich grew up in Georgia and began playing guitar at 8.  While studying music in college he performed with several bands of various styles in and around Georgia and Florida before immersing himself in the Bluegrass scene of Western North Carolina. He has toured and recorded with Billy Strings, made a guest appearance on Roland White's album and shared the stage with the likes of David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Sam Bush, Cody Kilby, and Sierra Hull.

Malia’s musical journey began at the age of 3 with classical violin lessons and took a turn, when she attended her first festival, Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, a few years later. Since then, she has performed with a number of different groups, taken home a range of prizes, graced the stage of numerous venues up and down the East Coast and given private lessons in both bluegrass and classical playing. Malia is the Director of Education at the Front Porch Music School in Charlottesville, VA, and currently teaches adult continued education courses in bluegrass fiddle at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, VA.

Lu Furtado has been attending bluegrass and old time music festivals since she was born. She began playing multiple instruments at the age of ten, and has been a winner at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention playing the Clawhammer banjo, as well as flat foot dancing. She has toured and recorded with multiple bands of varying styles, including Banana Express and the Hi Flyers. She taught banjo for several years at the Galax Elementary School and private music lessons for many years. She brings double trouble to the Gina Furtado Project with her silky, low harmony vocals as well as her stylish, groovy bass playing.