I Just Telephone Upstairs from Gina Furtado

Gina Furtado’s latest single from Mountain Home Music finds her in a different sort of environment. Setting aside her banjo for this song, I Just Telephone Upstairs, Furtado instead leads her sisters Malia and Lu in a vocal-heavy Gospel arrangement, inspired by a recording from The Golden Gate Quartet in 1952.

It’s a long tradition in bluegrass music, adapting great Gospel treasures from black southern singing groups, starting with Bill Monroe and continuing through Doyle Lawson’s long career. Gina’s version of I Just Telephone Upstairs adds a new wrinkle with female sibling harmony, and benefits greatly from its pared-down accompaniment.

For her, it’s just a happy, feel-good song…

“When I first heard this song from The Golden Gate Quartet, I put it on repeat and left it there for a few days. It made me smile ’til my smile-muscles hurt. Sometimes I’d even laugh out loud to myself listening to it, driving down the road, with the sheer delight at the optimism in their performance and the lyrics. It’s just so funny and fun! Recording this one with my siblings, Malia and Lu, was definitely a secret little dream come true for me. Drew Matulich absolutely knocked it out of the park with his tasty finger-style guitar picking, along with Wayne Benson’s mandolin and Lu’s bass. I had such a blast with this one.

“Hats off to the Golden Gate Quartet. They continue to be one of those groups I keep going back to when I need a boost and new inspiration!”

Have a listen…

I Just Telephone Upstairs from Gina Furtado is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.