Molly Tuttle performs

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

19 Comments

  1. Posted January 31, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic! Thanks for that.

    JR atheist-convention.com

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. kesheck
    Posted January 31, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I only recently discovered Molly Tuttle, and I’ve been playing her music on a different well-known streaming service, but I’d not seen these on YouTube. I am astounded by her skills. Thanks much for sharing these!

  3. GBJames
    Posted January 31, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic stuff! I think you would also like The April Verch Band. (Joe Newberry, the older fellow with the hat) tours with April from time to time.

  4. paablo
    Posted January 31, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    “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.”

    Practice, practice and then more practice. Speaking as someone with little inherent musical ability, it’s amazing to me what I can do as a result of lots of repetition.

  5. Eric Grobler
    Posted January 31, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Something else

    • GBJames
      Posted January 31, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Eric!

  6. Mark Reaume
    Posted January 31, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Wings of Pegasus (the linked YouTube) has lots of good videos of other artists. Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Glenn Campbell, and Roy Clark were particularly good IMO. I didn’t really appreciate their talent when I was a wee lad.

  7. Posted January 31, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    “There’s a YouTube analysis of this performance by a guitar teacher here.”

    This analysis is well worth the 15 minutes. I really enjoyed the teacher’s brain-hacking psychology.

    The take away for me was a reminder of how many hours someone like Molly Tuttle must practice to get this good. It requires tremendous dedication.

  8. Ré ÓLeannáin
    Posted January 31, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Can’t thank you enough for putting me on to these two amazing talents. Gur raibh maith agat!

  9. JoanL
    Posted January 31, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, thanks for this, I enjoy your music and book posts. Whether from you or others who comment here, it’s nice to explore new (to me) material.

    Perhaps you’ll enjoy opera-trained Rhiannon Giddens covering Patsy Cline’s hit, She’s Got You and the traditional standard Wayfaring Stranger.</

    And you might like Pink's cover of Grace Slick/Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit.

    Hope these links work without embedding.

    • JoanL
      Posted January 31, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Aargh…Maybe this way:

      Wayfaring Stranger

      White Rabbit

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted January 31, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Is embedding against the rules? How did you make the unembedded link?

      Also a nice White Rabbit cover:

      • JoanL
        Posted January 31, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Nice indeed, thanks.

        Not exactly sure, but I think embedding uses up bandwidth that may eventually cost Jerry somehow. As I recall, we’re asked to limit, but not eliminate, embedding. I used wordpress tips to pick up the coding.

  10. Mark R.
    Posted January 31, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Wow, just Wow!

  11. jknath1
    Posted February 2, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    They are both incredible musicians. Molly sounds a lot like Alison Krauss.

  12. Andrea Kenner
    Posted February 5, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Marvelous!


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