Molly Tuttle's Vibrant Musical Prowess Shines on Tour

Photos: Sachyn Mital

Molly Tuttle's When You're Ready steers her bluegrass towards pop and is deservedly earning her a new audience.

When You're Ready
Molly Tuttle


5 April 2019

After an already busy afternoon of press, including taping a few songs at Paste Studios, Molly Tuttle set up for a sold-out show at the Mercury Lounge in New York. Unbeknownst to her, outside, people began to line up -- two hours before her set -- clamoring to see the acclaimed musician (as I too have been since her track "Million Miles" hooked me).

Tuttle garnered notable awards in recent years including a "Song of the Year" honor from the Folk Alliance International for "You Didn't Call My Name", "Instrumentalist of the Year" at the 2018 Americana Music Awards, and "Guitar Player of the Year" acclaim from the International Bluegrass Music Association. This past April saw the release of her debut full length, When You're Ready which is a standout record that blends folk, bluegrass, and pop instrumentals (that suggest Nickel Creek) and showcases a pristine voice that hews closely to New Zealand's Anika Moa.

Dee White played a set rooted in country that including tracks from his debut Southern Gentleman out on Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound (and includes guest appearances from Auerbach, Allison Krauss and Ashley McBryde) plus a few covers. White charmed the crowd with a voice as smooth as Tennessee whiskey (Stapleton was one artist he covered, as well as Lefty Frizzell) and strong originals that included "Rose of Alabam" and "Ol' Muddy River".

Tuttle took the stage around 8:00 pm leaning into the bluegrass with "Save This Heart" off her 2017 EP Rise. Her claw-hammer guitar work was electrifying to watch -- the packed room watched enraptured as she reaffirmed that message with "Sit Back and Watch It Roll". A couple of songs later came the stunning "Million Miles", with her touring band providing backup vocals (Jason Isbell does backup on the record), and then the soaring "When You're Ready".

Other highlights included a solid take on the Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Zero" and the catchy power pop of "Light Came In". The former song had me wondering about how many times that band might have played the song at the same venue (and if Tuttle was paying respect to local artists across her tour) while the latter song had the audience grooving and me hoping that someone would cut the lights for one of the instrumental breaks. For her encore, Tuttle returned with White to perform Neil Young's "Helpless", a song she's done often before. All in all, it was a great early set from Tuttle that left me wanting more.

Molly Tuttle's summer tour stops through many festivals including Telluride Bluegrass Fest and Newport Folk Fest. Check out tour dates here. Photos and a video from the Mercury Lounge, as well as her Paste session video, are below.

Dee White Set List

Blue Moon
Wherever You Go / Crazy Man
Tennessee Whiskey (Chris Stapleton)
Bucket of Bolts
Rose of Alabam
Long Black Veil (Lefty Frizzell)
Ol' Muddy River
Under Your Skin

Molly Tuttle Set List
Save This Heart
Sit Back and Watch it Roll
Friend and a Friend
Million Miles
When You're Ready
Good Enough
Zero (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
The High Road
Messed with my Mind
Don't Let Go
Light Came In (Power Went Out)
Rain and Snow
Take the Journey
Helpless (Neil Young)






'Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters'

On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.


DYLYN Dares to "Find Myself" by Facing Fears and Life's Dark Forces (premiere + interview)

Shifting gears from aspiring electropop princess to rock 'n' rule dream queen, Toronto's DYLYN is re-examining her life while searching for truth with a new song and a very scary-good music video.


'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.


Max Richter's 'VOICES' Is an Awe-Inspiring and Heartfelt Soundscape

Choral singing, piano, synths, and an "upside-down" orchestra complement crowd-sourced voices from across the globe on Max Richter's VOICES. It rewards deep listening, and acts as a global rebuke against bigotry, extremism and authoritarianism.


JOBS Make Bizarre and Exhilarating Noise with 'endless birthdays'

Brooklyn experimental quartet JOBS don't have a conventional musical bone in their body, resulting in a thrilling, typically off-kilter new album, endless birthdays.


​Nnamdï' Creates a Lively Home for Himself in His Mind on 'BRAT'

Nnamdï's BRAT is a labyrinth detailing the insular journey of a young, eclectic DIY artist who takes on the weighty responsibility of reaching a point where he can do what he loves for a living.


Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few Play It Cool​

Austin's Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few perform sophisticatedly unsophisticated jazz/Americana that's perfect for these times


Eleanor Underhill Takes Us to the 'Land of the Living' (album stream)

Eleanor Underhill's Land of the Living is a diverse album drawing on folk, pop, R&B, and Americana. It's an emotionally powerful collection that inspires repeated listens.


How Hawkwind's First Voyage Helped Spearhead Space Rock 50 Years Ago

Hawkwind's 1970 debut opened the door to rock's collective sonic possibilities, something that connected them tenuously to punk, dance, metal, and noise.


Graphic Novel 'Cuisine Chinoise' Is a Feast for the Eyes and the Mind

Lush art and dark, cryptic fables permeate Zao Dao's stunning graphic novel, Cuisine Chinoise.


Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.


Hip-Hop's Raashan Ahmad Talks About His Place in 'The Sun'

On his latest work,The Sun, rapper Raashan Ahmad brings his irrepressible charisma to this set of Afrobeat-influenced hip-hop.


Between the Buried and Me's Baby Pictures Star in 'The Silent Circus'

The Silent Circus shows Between the Buried and Me developing towards the progressive metal titans they would eventually become.


The Chad Taylor Trio Get Funky and Fiery on 'The Daily Biological'

A nimble jazz power trio of drums, tenor sax, and piano, the Chad Taylor Trio is free and fun, funky and fiery on The Daily Biological.


Vistas' 'Everything Changes in the End' Is Catchy and Fun Guitar Rock

Vistas' debut, Everything Changes in the End, features bright rock music that pulls influences from power-pop and indie rock.


In Amy Seimetz's 'She Dies Tomorrow', Death Is Neither Delusion Nor Denial

Amy Seimetz's She Dies Tomorrow makes one wonder, is it possible for cinema to authentically convey a dream, or like death, is it something beyond our control?


Maestro Gamin and Aeks' Latest EP Delivers LA Hip-Hop Cool (premiere + interview)

MaestroAeks' Sapodigo is a collection of blunted hip-hop tunes, sometimes nudging a fulsome boom-bap and other times trading on laid-back, mellow grooves.


Soul Blues' Sugaray Rayford Delivers a "Homemade Disaster" (premiere + Q&A)

What was going to be a year of touring and building Sugaray Rayford's fanbase has turned into a year of staying home and reaching out to fans from his Arizona home.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.