Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

Crooked Tree

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Molly Tuttle has become one of Americana’s most visible artists. Her vocals, influenced by Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, (mostly) sunny, bucolic originals, and free-flowing flatpicking set her apart, though her passionate edge is still evolving.

Golden Highway, her bluegrass-flavored band, complements her strengths. Never once does her virtuosity overwhelm a performance. A number of vocal and instrumental guests join in, among them Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Billy Strings, Old Crow Medicine Show, Gillian Welch, and Margo Price. “Nashville Mess Around” celebrates Music City from an outsider’s perspective, with banjo and fiddle statements before Tuttle adds instrumental insights, ending with a bit of yodeling. She kicks off “Castilleja” with a Latin-flavored intro, enhanced by Douglas’ fluent Dobro.

Strings sings and picks along on the darker “Dooley’s Farm,” the band adding ambience to the duet. Another ballad, “The River Knows,” reveals Tuttle punctuating her knowing vocal with intense, sharp rhythmic figures. She adds a nicely articulated break to her vocal duet with Gillian Welch on the breezy, lighthearted “Side Saddle,” while the autobiographical “Grass Valley” celebrates Tuttle’s California roots.

Tuttle not only creates a beguiling blend of material, she reveals a consummate sense of taste and balance.

This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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