There is so much wonderful interplay these days between the established legends of progressive bluegrass and its young practitioners who are setting amazing new standards of musical excellence. Banjo master Bela Fleck, to give just one example, continues to tour with his Bluegrass Heart project that features a host of graybeards like Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas playing incredible music along with young titans of the genre like Billy Strings and Sierra Hull. (*)
In that same spirit, it has been a thrill to hear the recent music of Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway as the band has spent this year releasing new music and touring the country. Tuttle’s newest album, Crooked Tree, was recorded live at Nashville’s Oceanway Studios. The album “simultaneously honors the bluegrass tradition and pushes the genre into new directions, particularly in its lyrical content.”
I’ve featured the inventive guitarist Molly Tuttle and dobro king Jerry “Flux” Douglas individually in previous Soundtracks, but today I’m bringing them together because of a wonderful Paste Studio video of their three-song set this past May at Del McCoury’s Cumberland, Maryland music festival DelFest.
Here’s how The Bluegrass Situation described this gem:
In May, (Tuttle & Golden Highway) were joined at DelFest by none other than Dobro hero Jerry Douglas, who is also the co-producer of their new album. Douglas, Tuttle, and company give not only rip-roaring renditions of Golden Highway’s new songs in this performance for Paste Studio on the Road, but also an interesting and enlightening interview with a Paste host. The songs are presented as the founders of bluegrass intended: the band surrounding one microphone, weaving in and out of one another’s space to be heard. In between the interview portions, the band plays three songs from Golden Highway’s new album, Crooked Tree. For those of us who couldn’t get to DelFest this year, this video is a great way to feel like you didn’t completely miss out.
Yep, just like the founders of bluegrass intended…if they could have envisioned a 29-year-old female guitar phenom leading a band of top-notch pickers with the best dobro player on the planet.
More to come…
*Just to be clear, all the graybeards are about my age, plus-or-minus five years. The younger set can be anywhere from teenagers to those musicians in their 40s.
Image: Jerry Douglas, Molly Tuttle, and Shelby Means (l to r) playing for Paste Studio on the Road at DelFest