GINA CLOWES 'True Colors' MH-1700-CD

GINA CLOWES 'True Colors' MH-1700-CD

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Gina Clowes’ True Colors is a stylistically vivid collection of songs filled with purpose and mood. With an intent to use the banjo as a medium of personal expression, Clowes moves through varied modes of musical treatments. Although she’s known mainly as the banjo player for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, Clowes has recorded an album of almost all original material out of a desire to bring her own music to life. The kick off track, “Puppet Show,” utilizes a claw hammer banjo played by her brother Victor Furtado, and alongside her own chromatic banjo picking style it created a quirky song that merges elements of Swing and Jazz into carnivalesque fun. This is followed by an original instrumental, “Saylor’s Creek,” a song inspired by a heartbreaking battle of the American Civil War. It provides an excellent example of how Clowes’ banjo prowess allows her to construct complex music that reflects her emotional connection to the world. The title track,“True Colors,” is a swinging love song Gina wrote, one she describes as an “almost comically genuine” sentiment towards her husband. This song is just one of many showcasing the core players on the recording. Gina is accompanied by some musicians she credits as being “family and friends” that include acclaimed bass player Marshall Wilborn, guitar phenom Chris Luquette and mandolin ace Jack Dunlap. Gina’s sister Malia Furtado joins them as well on fiddle and vocals. In addition, there are special guest performances by well-known players and singers in Gina’s music community Mark Stoffel, Victor and Thomas Furtado, Chris Sexton, and others. Heather Berry Mabe is featured on the lead vocal of “For Better or for Worse,” a song that exemplifies the album’s strength in presenting great modern Bluegrass. More traditional Bluegrass gets attention here too, a nod to Clowes’ musical upbringing, with a fine lead vocal from Scott Brannon and the harmonies of Chris Henry on “Good Old Fashioned Heartbreak.” The collection offers a beautiful spiritual song in “Looking for Sunshine” revealing Clowes’ ability to sincerely express her personal journey in a poignant way. There are also smart instrumental pieces that vary in style, from the traditional fiddle tune genre of “Goodbye Lianne,” to the classical sound of “Wayward Kite” and the Gypsy Jazz romp that is “La Puerta del Diablo.” This recording includes only one cover song, a tasteful version of Nina Simone’s “Beautiful Land” that syncopates Gina’s delicate vocal treatment with a melodic banjo line and concludes the album. Clowes’ innovative and unique musicianship and songwriting, although based in traditional music modalities, breaks free from the assumed constructs and makes a new musical statement that’s influenced by emotion, is played with the highest skill, and expresses an enormous verve and vitality

Track Listing:

  • 1. Puppet Show 3:02
  • 2. Saylors Creek 3:16
  • 3. True Colors 2:39
  • 4. Looking for Sunshine 3:01
  • 5. Dust Can Wait 2:35
  • 6. For Better or for Worse 3:03
  • 7. The Wayward Kite 3:31
  • 8. Good Old Fashioned Heartbreak 2:41
  • 9. Goodbye, Lianne 3:44
  • 10. I’ll Stay Home 2:56
  • 11. La Puerta del Diablo 2:17
  • 12. Beautiful Land 1:51