Drawing on the distinctive sound and fresh musical ideas that recently earned its namesake her third consecutive International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year nomination, The Gina Furtado Project shows a more playful side of Furtado’s musical personality on “Alley Cat,” the group’s latest single for Mountain Home Music Company.
The song tips its hat to Furtado’s Celtic influences with an irresistible, Irish-flavored melody that works both as a framework for sprightly unison playing by Gina and her violinist sister, Malia Furtado, and as a fitting vehicle for the lyric’s deftly prolonged metaphor:
“He doesn’t care to compromise
The alley cat with laughing eyes
And when he laid his eyes on me
The other girls were history...
A pat and scratch behind the ear
Really you’ve no business here
A little milk is all you’ll get
‘Cause I don’t want an alley cat”
As the bandleader slyly notes, "’Alley Cat’ is for anyone who has been charmed completely and unexpectedly — whether it be by a stray kitty, or any other free spirit."
With harmonies from Malia Furtado, and a gracefully grooving rhythm section of Drew Matulich (guitar) and bassist Max Johnson, “Alley Cat” is a sunny, light-hearted frolic that packs an abundance of good-humored energy into its two minutes, proving once again that, even in music, brevity is the soul of wit.