Yesterday I put up a post showing the dynamic duo of Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle, two of the best flatpickers around—in any age class. (I just discovered that Tuttle will be playing in Chicago on March 15. Strings isn’t coming here in the near future, but I see many of his concerts are not only more expensive, but sold out.) Today I’ll put up a few of videos of Molly playing live.
This first video shows her picking and singing “White Freightliner Blues”, a song written by Townes Van Zandt. The playing is followed at 2:18 by a Q&A session in which Tuttle explains her playing technique. The red device on her guitar holds a camera that photographs her hands.
Truly, I don’t understand how a human can sing so well, and simultaneously play the guitar this well and this fast, with both hands operating independently of the mouth. Not only that, but she makes it look easy. There’s a YouTube analysis of this performance by a guitar teacher here,
And she can write as well. Here’s one of her original compositions (written with Sarah Siskind), more country than bluegrass. It’s a lovely song, and here she’s fingerpicking rather than flatpicking:
And her version of an old favorite written by John Hartford and made famous by Glenn Campbell. My only beef: being a Michigan girl, she pronounces “memory” with all three syllables instead of the proper two-syllable pronunciation in country music: “mem’ry”.
And bluegrass. She was only 24 when she performed here, but to me she was already close to the greatest country performers.
Next: Billy Strings