Black Music Matters Festival

Tuttle goes the covers route

Friday, July 10, 2020

Molly Tuttle is going the covers route.

The singer is releasing "...but I'd rather be with you" on Aug. 28 on Compass. The 10-song CD includes covers of songs of everyone from The Rolling Stones to Harry Styles.

"I have been working on writing for another original album and am still planning to record that this year," said Tuttle an ace guitarist, "but in the meantime I wanted to share these covers that have lifted my spirits, in hopes that you'll find some much-needed joy as well."

The track list is:
1. Fake Empire (The National)
2. She's A Rainbow (The Rolling Stones)
3. A Little Lost (Arthur Russell)
4. Something On Your Mind (Karen Dalton)
5. Mirrored Heart (FKA Twigs)
6. Olympia, WA (Rancid)
7. Standing On The Moon (Grateful Dead)
8. Zero (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
9. Sunflower, Vol. 6 (Harry Styles)
How Can I Tell You (Cat Stevens)

"...but i'd rather be with you" was recorded during quarantine and produced with the help of Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird). In March, Tuttle experienced the devastating tornado that tore through much of East Nashville, followed by the global pandemic. While sheltering at home, she found solace by revisiting favorite songs in an attempt to "remind myself why I love music." An idea for an album emerged, to be recorded with Los Angeles-based Berg despite being over two thousand miles apart.

Tuttle taught herself how to use Pro Tools and then recorded and engineered all of her parts alone at home before sending them to Berg. The producer enlisted a number of session musicians - including drummer Matt Chamberlain and keyboardist Patrick Warren - to add instrumentation from their respective home studios, with guest vocals contributed by Goldsmith as well as Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor. "This is how the astronauts do it," Tuttle recalls Berg saying as they sent the files back and forth.

Tuttle released her cover of Grateful Dead's "Standing On The Moon" today. The new song features Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes on backing vocals.

"I didn't grow up listening to a lot of Grateful Dead music," said Tuttle, "but being raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Dead was part of the mythology of my family and the area I grew up in - kind of how I imagine people who grew up in Tennessee where I live now might feel about Dolly Parton."

"Our specific family lore was that Jerry Garcia had gone to my high school (Palo Alto High) and my mom's older sister, my Aunt Titia, knew them and used to take guitar lessons from Bob Weir in Menlo Park. That's a roundabout way of explaining that this song means so much to me because it brings me back to my roots."

"Even though I love Nashville, sometimes I do feel like I'm standing on the moon wishing I were with my friends and family in San Francisco. The line, 'A lovely view of heaven, but I'd rather be with you' is my favorite and it's why I named the album ...but I'd rather be with you. Life is messy and imperfect but I'd rather be here in it with all of you."

"One of the greatest feats as a musician, in my opinion, is taking a Grateful Dead song and creating a version of it that goes beyond the stigmatized identity of a 'Dead cover,'" says Goldsmith. "It's hard to do and takes a lot of courage to make it happen. But Molly reached for that brass ring and then somehow even went beyond it. Her version has given the song new parameters, makes me feel new things, and surpasses any sort of referential quality and becomes Molly's own song. I'm just happy I got to be one small part of bringing it to life."

Tuttle also released a video for her cover of The National's "Fake Empire" in late late June.

"I am a huge fan of The National," Tuttle says. "'BOXER' is probably my favorite album by them. This song has a super cool four-over-three polyrhythm throughout. The piano part is super fun on guitar if you can train your thumb to play in three and your index and middle fingers to play in four."

Tuttle has released an EP, "Rise," (2017) and the CD "When You're Ready" (2019) for Compass.

More news for Molly Tuttle

CD reviews for Molly Tuttle

When You're Ready CD review - When You're Ready
One of the most celebrated acoustic guitarists working within the Americana field, Molly Tuttle is two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitarist of the Year, the first female to be so honored. "When You're Ready" is Tuttle's first full-fledged solo album, having previously recorded an EP ("Rise"), albums with both the Tuttles and The Goodbye Girls, and a long-ago recording with her father, Jack ("The Old Apple Tree"). »»»
Rise CD review - Rise
EPs are a strange breed. Some are no more than demos for a larger work. Others are a hodgepodge of material recorded here and there and sold to help pay for gas money to the artists' next live gig. And some, like Molly Tuttle's "Rise", are exquisitely constructed messages in a bottle, to sum up the artists' current stage of development. Tuttle could have easily named this EP, "Let's Get on With It" or "Watch What I Do Now," but "Rise" »»»