2017's IBMA Guitar Player of the Year Winner
Molly Tuttle speaks softly. Her voice is both lilting and lucid, and when she says that she wants to create music that is truly original and unmistakably hers, her quietness shifts into a steely audacity that’s charming and almost funny––she’s only 24, after all. But then, you remember her songs. And it hits you: brash, beautiful originality is exactly what Molly is doing.
On her debut solo EP RISE, Molly reveals the rich new ground she’s discovered. Produced by Kai Welch (Abigail Washburn, Bobby Bare, Jr., the Greencards), the seven song collection relies on a rock-solid bluegrass foundation as Molly breaks free without breaking ties, singing and exploring what her six-string acoustic guitar can do. “This album was a big learning process for me,” Molly says. “I knew Kai would know directions to take my songs that would push me a little outside of my box. I grew a lot more confident in the direction I am heading as an artist.”
RISE further introduces Molly to a roots music audience who’s already enthusiastically embraced and elevated her. A Momentum Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in the instrumentalist category rounded out her 2016, after she clinched first place in Merlefest’s prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition. Appearances at top-tier festivals including RockyGrass Festival and on programs such as A Prairie Home Companion have expanded her audience, along with almost nonstop touring. Press response has been glowing: a Flatpicking Guitar Magazine cover was followed by praise from The Bluegrass Situation, No Depression, American Songwriter and others. Mostly recently, she’s grinning somewhat slyly on Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s April 2017 cover. And now, Molly is the first woman in the 27 year history of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards to be nominated (and win) for Guitar Player of the Year, the only instrumental category that had not yet nominated a woman. Molly is also nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.
“Her songs, singing and solos, much like her demeanor, tend to have an inward-looking elegance to them; they’re the outward expressions of a searching mind and a longtime dedication to cultivating her craft.” —Jewly Hight, NPR
“[Molly Tuttle] sings with the gentle authority of Gillian Welch, yet plays astoundingly fleet flat-picking guitar like Chet Atkins on superdrive.” —Paul Zollo, American Songwriter Magazine
“On her solo debut, an EP titled Rise, her playing is rhythmically complex, technically precise, and remarkably fleet, as though there are two sets of hands running up and down the frets, yet the guitar remains secondary to her evocative songwriting.” —The Bluegrass Situation
“Among the most brilliant guitarists in this new generation is Molly Tuttle, who seems as effortlessly conversant when flatpicking as when playing in the clawhammer style, and who is equally gifted as a singer-songwriter.” —Premier Guitar