The Gina Furtado Project is reaching all the way back to the beginnings of bluegrass with their new single, True Life Blues, one written by Bill Monroe, which he cut in 1945.
Bluegrass fans know Gina from her stint on banjo with Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, and her two popular albums with Mountain Home Music, True Colors and I Hope You Have A Good Life. Member of the IBMA have nominated her three times for their Banjo Player of the Year award, all while raising a family in northern Virginia.
Gina comes from a family of serious musicians as well. Her sister, Malia, plays fiddle and sings duet harmony on this track, while her brother Victor, is an acclaimed clawhammer banjo player with The Wildmans. Another sister, Lu, is the Gina Furtado Band’s bassist.
True Life Blues is a warning to young women about what can happen when you wed too soon. The song picked up some feminist cred when it was recorded by Hazel & Alice 30 years later on their final album together, and Furtado blends the influence of both for her contemporary rendition, which she says was a blast.
“It was fun to honor two of my favorites, Bill Monroe and Hazel Dickens, with one song. As a very happy ex-housewife, this song sure feels relatable!
As always, I feel so lucky to have been joined by some incredible pickers: Malia Furtado (fiddle), Lu Furtado (bass), Drew Matulich (guitar), and Wayne Benson (mandolin).”
The single doesn’t release until Friday, but here’s an advance listen for Bluegrass Today readers.
True Life Blues from Gina Furtado will drop on May 5 from Mountain Home Music, with pre-saves enabled now. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.