Gina Furtado

Banjo player, singer and songwriter Gina Furtado’s distinctive original songs are an aspect of her music that has won her a boatload of bluegrass airplay. Still, she’s an equally distinctive interpreter, as her previous single, a tip of the hat to African-American gospel favorites, the Golden Gate Quartet, showed — and now she’s following up with another tribute, this time to a couple of bluegrass giants: Bill Monroe and Hazel Dickens.

Collaborative musical encounters between distinct artists have been woven into the fabric of bluegrass at least as far back as the in-studio meeting of Flatt & Scruggs with Doc Watson. So it was almost inevitable that, at some point, the idea would surface of bringing together musicians from the groups that make up the rosters of sister labels Mountain Home Music Company and Organic Records.

From Bill Monroe’s “Walking In Jerusalem,” adapted from the Golden Gate Quartet, to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver’s epic reworking of the Soul Stirrer’s “Jesus Gave Me Water,” bluegrass artists have drawn on the rich vein of African-American gospel singing. Now, The Gina Furtado Project serve up their own take on this tradition with “I Just Telephone Upstairs,” the group’s newest single for Mountain Home Music Company.

Drawing on the distinctive sound that earned her a third consecutive International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year nomination in 2021, Mountain Home Music Company’s Gina Furtado starts off her 2022 with a new single, “It Won’t Be Me.” Backed by her eponymous Gina Furtado Project, which includes two of her sisters, the singer-songwriter serves up a characteristic blend of engaging music with a powerful lyric theme.

Those acquainted with The Gina Furtado Project already know something of its namesake’s fresh, deeply individualized approach to songwriting, but with the release of each one of her singles, Furtado proves anew her ability to use old forms in new ways — and the group’s latest release, “Made Up My Mind” is no exception.

After a steady stream of original songs by its namesake, the Mountain Home Music Company’s Gina Furtado Project takes a nifty side trip with an energetic version of a classic old-time-by-way-of-bluegrass instrumental, the “Kansas City Railroad Blues,” their first single produced by award-winning banjo player Kristin Scott Benson.

With two full albums of refreshingly original material already to her credit, singer-songwriter and banjoist Gina Furtado has quickly become one of the most powerfully individualistic artists working in the bluegrass vein today. Now, following the success of the whimsically lighthearted “Alley Cat,” The Gina Furtado Project is back with “Gone,” a new single that offers further evidence of her unique melodic, rhythmic and lyric sensibilities.

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