Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway
With Special Guests Chatham Rabbits
One of the most compelling new voices in the roots music world, Molly Tuttle is a virtuosic multi- instrumentalist and singer/ songwriter with a lifelong love of bluegrass, a genre the Northern California-bred artist first discovered thanks to her father (a music teacher and multi- instrumentalist) and grandfather (a banjo player whose Illinois farm she visited often throughout her childhood). On her new, Grammy-nominated album, Crooked Tree, Tuttle joyfully explores that rich history with bluegrass, bringing her imagination to tales of free spirits and outlaws, weed farmers and cowgirls, resulting in a record that is both forward-thinking and steeped in bluegrass heritage, and which has earned her the 2022 International Bluegrass Music Association award for Female Vocalist of The Year as well as a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Crooked Tree has received a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album.
“I always knew I wanted to make a bluegrass record someday,” says the Nashville- based Tuttle, who began attending bluegrass jams at age eleven. “Once I started writing, everything flowed so easily: 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 hat while writing songs that feel true to who I am, and it really helped me to grow as a songwriter.”
Her debut release for Nonesuch Records, Crooked Tree, which earned five IBMA nominations, as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album, is co-produced by Tuttle and bluegrass legend Jerry Douglas (who also plays Dobro throughout the album); her studio band also includes esteemed musicians like Ron Block (banjo, guitar, harmony vocals), Mike Bub (upright bass), Jason Carter (fiddle), Tina Adair (harmony vocals), and Dominick Leslie, a mandolinist who also performs in Tuttle’s live band, Golden Highway, along with banjo player Kyle Tuttle, fiddle player Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, and bassist Shelby Means. The album features such illustrious guests as Gillian Welch, Margo Price, Billy Strings, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dan Tyminski, and Sierra Hull. Crooked Tree marks a departure from the eclecticism of Tuttle’s critically lauded 2019 full-length debut When You’re Ready and 2020’s … but i’d rather be with you (a covers album that masterfully reinterprets everyone from FKA Twigs to Karen Dalton). Each track showcases Tuttle’s guitar technique, for which she was the first women ever named Guitar Player of the year.
There is something warm and instantly familiar about the beloved roots duo, Chatham Rabbits. Partners in music and life, Chatham Rabbits’ Austin and Sarah McCombie blend their personal histories through deft songwriting and a history that comes from building a life together. Leaning into each other’s strengths, their songs present a congenial, collaborative spirit that has captured the pure adoration of fans along the way and earned them praise from Garden & Gun Magazine, American Songwriter, and No Depression.
Their artistry hinges on a fervent desire to connect with others through the music that first brought the pair together. Steeped in the regional traditions of their North Carolina home, Chatham Rabbits’ musical pursuits represent a new age of roots music. Chatham Rabbits recorded and released their beloved debut album, All I Want From You in 2019. This set the standard for their sophomore release The Yoke is Easy, The Burden is Full—the centerpiece song “Oxen” was named “Top Folk Song of 2020” by Paste Magazine. Nurtured by central North Carolina’s fertile, influential music scene, Chatham Rabbits’ sound continues to evolve in their expansive third album, If You See Me Riding By (2022), which was simultaneously released with a television series, On the Road with Chatham Rabbits, on PBS-NC. The McCombie’s ingenuity during the Covid-19 crisis led to the creation of their mobile concert experience, The Stay at Home Tour, which took the duo to 194 neighborhoods in 2020-21. The pair is currently recording their fourth album of poignant original songs and continuing to foster their tight-knit fan community across the US.