“I always knew I wanted to make a bluegrass record someday,” Molly Tuttle says, and so did the rest of us. Yet strangely, it had never come to pass until now. Already considered a titan of the bluegrass discipline as a two-time winner of the IBMA’s Guitarist of the Year and a collaborator on countless bluegrass titles, Tuttle’s solo work so far has been more into the singer/songwriter realm.
That will all change when she releases her latest record Crooked Tree via Nonesuch Records on April 1st in collaboration with her new bluegrass band called Golden Highway, while other high profile names such as Sierra Hull, Old Crow Medicine Show, Billy Strings, Dan Tyminski, Margo Price, and Gillian Welch lend a hand to the album as well.
“Once I started writing, everything flowed so easily,” Tuttle says. “Sometimes I’ve felt an internal pressure to come up with a sound no one’s heard before, but this time my intention was just to make an album that reflected the music that’s been passed down through generations in my family. I found a way to do that while writing songs that feel true to who I am, and it really helped me to grow as a songwriter.”
This is all so true. There is a strange thought sometimes within bluegrass that it’s “all been done,” and you can’t be original within the discipline. But Molly Tuttle has already proven that to be untrue simply from her instrumental approach, while remaining just as acclaimed as a composer—lyrically and sonically—since coming up in a family band in Northern California, attending the Berklee College of Music, and becoming a solo performer along with her frequent guest spots on bluegrass projects.
Molly Tuttle wrote or co-wrote every song on the new 12-song album. Officially, the members of the new backing band are Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Shelby Means (bass), and Kyle Tuttle (banjo). Additional musicians on the album also include Darol Anger (fiddle), Ron Block (banjo), Mike Bub (upright bass), Jason Carter (fiddle), Viktor Krauss (upright bass), Todd Phillips (upright bass), and Christian Sedelmyer (fiddle) with additional harmony vocals from Tina Adair, Lindsay Lou, and Melody Walker.
Molly Tuttle already titillated us with the new song called “She’ll Change” released late last year, and couples the announcement of the new album with the release of the title track (listen below).
Crooked Tree is now available for pre-order ahead of the April 1st release, with the vinyl for the project to be made available on May 13th.
1. She’ll Change
2. Flatland Girl (feat. Margo Price)
3. Dooley’s Farm (feat. Billy Strings)
4. Big Backyard (feat. Old Crow Medicine Show)
5. Crooked Tree
7. The River Knows
8. Over The Line
9. Nashville Mess Around
10. San Francisco Blues (feat. Dan Tymiski)
12. Side Saddle (feat. Gillian Welch)