Molly Tuttle’s prodigious songwriting chops, ethereal voice, and physical command of the guitar join forces in service of a sound that is equal parts traditional and transcendent.
Molly’s bluegrass bona fides will be instantly recognizable to aficionados. Her musicality is deeply rooted in the genre’s standards and culture, and her command of notoriously challenging flatpicking mechanics easily ranks her among the guitar’s elite technicians. None of this is especially surprising considering she is the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year for 2017.
What is unexpected is how this traditional mix of ingredients results in a sound that is just as at home on Spotify as it is in Walnut Valley. With over a million plays, Molly’s tune Lightning in a Jar is a breakout success on the platform’s “Indie Bluegrass” playlist, and as of this writing Molly herself is the playlist poster image. If the time is right for a mainstream take on bluegrass musicianship, Molly would seem perfectly poised to provide it.
In this hands-on interview, we get to the bottom of Molly’s astonishing right hand facility, including her approach to flat pick rudiments and roll patterns, gymnastic bass/chord rhythm techniques, and her very cool banjo-inspired clawhammer fingerstyle technique. We talk about fretboard visualization, songwriting techniques, and the additional polishing of all of these during her time at the Berklee College of Music.
The interview includes 42 tablature examples filmed in high frame rate, slow-motion video, with complete transcriptions of Girl in My Shoes, Save This Heart, and Molly’s blazing cover of the Townes Van Zandt classic White Freightliner Blues.
There are two great ways to watch: