Banjo Great Tony Trischka Taps Molly Tuttle And Sam Bush For Latest Earl Jam Single

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Friday, March 15, 2024

“I first met Molly Tuttle at Shasta Camp in northern California,” recalls banjo master and ringleader of the upcoming Earl Jam: A Tribute To Earl Scruggs, Tony Trischka. “There were three banjo teachers, myself and two others, and there was only one banjo student, Molly Tuttle.” It wasn’t long before Trischka invited Tuttle to be part of his Of A Winter’s Night holiday show where the group recorded an album by the same name at Levon Helm’s Barn in Woodstock, New York. Everyone knows what a meteoric rise Tuttle has had since then, and today she’s joining forces with Trischka once again on the latest Earl Jam single, “Dooley.”

The upbeat, bouncing number was written by Mitch Jayne and Rodney Dillard and appeared on the Dillards’ first album, Back Porch Bluegrass. This version features not just Trischka and Tuttle on banjo and guitar, respectively, but the reigning newgrass king Sam Bush is dealt in for a verse and solo as well. Rounded out with Tuttle’s Golden Highway bandmate Bronwyn Keith-Hynes on fiddle and backing vocals, the great Mark Schatz on bass, and Sean Trischka on backing vocals, the all-star group puts on a clinic with tight harmonies and a tighter pocket.

“Dooley” is the latest single from Trischka’s upcoming project honoring the man himself in what would’ve been his 100th trip around the sun. Earl Jam: A Tribute To Earl Scruggs, which is due out on June 7th on the newly-formed Down The Road label, is a collection of reimagined tunes culled from long-lost jams between Scruggs, the late, great John Hartford, and many others. Pre-order or pre-save Earl Jam ahead of its release right here.

Listen to “Dooley” today at this link and don’t forget to check out “Brown’s Ferry Blues feat. Billy Strings”—the first single from Earl Jam which Rolling Stone called a “fiery salute to Earl Scruggs”—here. A list of Trischka’s tour dates can be found below or at

More About Earl Jam: A Tribute To Earl Scruggs: When banjo extraordinaire Tony Trischka opened his mail one afternoon during the height of the Covid lockdown, he certainly wasn’t expecting to get a visit from his old pal, the late great Earl Scruggs. Of course, it wasn’t Earl at the door, but a mysterious thumb drive full of rare recordings of Scruggs jamming with John Hartford, mostly taken from private gatherings at Earl’s house during the 80s and 90s. Naturally, Trischka began pouring over the more than 200 songs, transcribing the all-new solos, tones, and tricks from the man he’d been studying for over half a century. Inspired, he featured a number of these pieces as part of an overview of Earl’s career, premiering the concept at the venerable Joe's Pub in New York City. When Down The Road’s Ken Irwin heard a recording of the show, he and Trischka agreed there should be an album of this unique material.

Naturally, Trischka couldn’t wait to get his friends and colleagues together to flesh out this new material in the studio, and it wasn’t long before Earl Jam: A Tribute To Earl Scruggs came to be. “Whether or not you’re a banjo player, if you play bluegrass, you’re influenced by Earl. So it was easy to get world-class players on board,” says Trischka. Names like Stuart Duncan, Ronnie McCoury, and Darol Anger fill the album liner notes next to those of Molly Tuttle, Brittany Haas, Dominick Leslie, and Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, creating a cross-generational, genre-spanning band of, let’s face it, a heaping of the best pickers alive today.

Catch Tony Trischka’s Earl Jam On Tour:

Mar. 22 - Barneveld, NY - Unity Hall

Mar. 23 - Albany, NY - The Egg

Mar. 28 - Charlottesville, VA - The Front Porch

Mar. 29 - Sparta, NC - Muddy Creek Music Hall

Apr. 4 - Duluth, GA - Red Clay Music Foundry

Apr. 5 - Savannah, GA - Savannah Music Festival

Apr. 18 - Hagerstown, MD - Hub City Vinyl

Apr. 20 - Rock Hall, MD - The Mainstay

May 3 - Boothbay Harbor, ME - The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor

May 4 - Groton, MA - Groton Hill Music Center

June 7 - Amherst, MA - The Drake

June 8 - Cambridge, MA - Club Passim

June 13 - New York, NY - Joe’s Pub

June 16 - Palisade, CO - Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival

June 28 - Old Saybrook, CT - The Kate

June 29 - Great Barrington, MA - The Guthrie Center

June 30 - Bethlehem, PA - Godfrey Daniels

Aug. 30 - Brunswick, ME - Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival

Aug. 31 - Clarendon, VT - Kingsley Grist Mill National Historic Site

Sept. 21 - Louisville, KY - Bourbon & Beyond Festival

For future dates and ticket information, please visit