Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

with Hectic Hobo
Thursday, February 24, 2022
Doors 7 | Show 8
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Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway—her brand new band of bluegrass virtuosos featuring mandolinist Dominick Leslie, banjoist Kyle Tuttle, fiddle player Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, and bassist Shelby Means—will tour the United States in 2022 in support of Tuttle’s forthcoming Nonesuch Records debut.

An award-winning guitarist and songwriter, native Californian Molly Tuttle continues to push her songwriting in new directions and transcend musical boundaries. Since moving to Nashville in 2015, she has worked with many of her peers and heroes in the Americana, folk, and bluegrass communities, winning Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2018 Americana Music Awards. Tuttle’s 2019 debut album, When You're Ready, received critical acclaim, with NPR Music praising its “handsomely crafted melodies that gently insinuate themselves into the memory,” and the Wall Street Journal lauding Tuttle’s “genre-boundary-crossing comfort and emotional preparedness,” calling the record an “invigorating, mature and attention-grabbing first album.”

Tuttle’s accolades also include Folk Alliance International’s honor for Song of the Year for “You Didn’t Call My Name,” from her 2017 Rise EP, and consecutive trophies for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year; she was the first woman in the history of the IBMA to win that honor.

During the pandemic, Tuttle recorded a covers album, …but i'd rather be with you, which was released in August 2020. The record, which features guest vocals from Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor, includes songs by musicians ranging from FKA Twigs to Cat Stevens, Rancid to Karen Dalton, and The National to The Rolling Stones. The New Yorker’s Jay Ruttenberg, in praising her rendition of the Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow,” says: “In Tuttle’s reading, the song uses a bluegrass spirit to look to the past—and a feminist allegiance to peek at the future.”

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Hectic Hobo

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Ramshackle Glory — Fusing folk, Americana and probably some country influences outside my realm of musical knowledge, Hectic Hobo’s release Died on the Fourth of July is full of intricate melodies and simplistic, effective songwriting. The album highlights the diversity that the band is capable of. There are songs that are bluesy and somber such as “Brother,” about a soldier coming home from Desert Storm, and more vibrant, upbeat songs that have the chaotic energy of Gogol Bordello and Folk Hogan, such as “Jazz Funeral.” There’s something about lead vocalist Hasen Cone‘s gritty voice that is bluesy, folksy and punk rock at the same time, which blurs the lines of genre for Hectic Hobo.

What I find most intriguing about Died on the Fourth of July is that each song is a mini saga, ranging from the ridiculous to the profound. In “Good Dog,” Cone sings about the misadventures of a drunken troublemaker: “I saw a man on stilts / He wore a Scottish kilt / He stepped over me / Showed me his mysteries / Champagne and cocaine, you can’t keep a good dog down.” This is in contrast to their rendition of the popular folk song, “In the Pines.” Angst oozes out of Hectic Hobo’s version of the song with the sweet notes of the violin, adding another dimension to the organ-dominated blues. What I particularly like about Hectic Hobo’s version is that they fill in some of the blanks of the story, adding a few of their own lyrics to the tale while still letting the violin solos shine throughout the song. Another standout piece is “Liquid Bible,” an acoustic blues piece about finding religion through “drinking scriptures down.” The point of view is of a veteran on the outskirts of a religious society that has ultimately rejected him, which also hints at the underlying evils and hypocrisy in theocratic communities. Died on the Forth of July is full of old-world wisdom and debauchery with really solid songwriting and instrumentation, and is one of the albums, local and otherwise, that shouldn’t be missed from 2017. –Ali Shimkus, City Weekly Magazine