Earlier this month, Grammy Award-winning Molly Tuttle brought her Road To Eldorado Tour to a close with back-to-back sold-out shows in Colorado. Performing in Fort Collins and Denver, these two concerts would be the only stops in the Centennial state for the fall and found the songstress and flat-picking wonder promoting her latest creation City of Gold. Backed by the immutable Golden Highway, comprised of IBMA fiddle mistress Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, mando master Dominic Leslie, badass bassist Shelby Means, and banjo mad scientist who may or may not be related in some way Mr. Kyle Tuttle, the fearsome fivesome leveled both cities with innovative and original forms on one of the oldest genres around.
The Aggie Theatre was the penultimate stop and with a six-hundred-person capacity, this tiny venue not only sold out but was packed before the woman on fire even took the stage. Opening the show, the vocal prowess and beaming personality of Christina Vane had the crowd locked in as intently as the main event. Her forty-five minutes in the spotlight afforded her the opportunity to expose the crowd to her quality originals and even welcomed Bronwyn for support.
By the time Tuttle was ready to share her mind alongside her partners in crime, the crowd was frothing, and as she and Golden Highway walked out, the audience unleashed deep appreciation to a band full of sparkling eyes and genuine smiles to match. Without hesitation, the evening fired and from the first note to the last, everyone in the room got exactly what they came there for.
As expected, the band covered almost the entire record and although much of the setlist remained the same throughout the tour, every piece of music at The Aggie came off as fresh and full of energy as though this was the beginning, not the end, of the tour. Where the setlist deviated night after night was the solo Molly portion of the single set and for the Fort Collins’ stop, Molly took requests from the stage and finally settled on a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “She’s Like a Rainbow”, where she invited everyone to sing along. For part two of the pared-down section, she brought Shelby Means to join her for The Grateful Dead’s “Standing on the Moon”, dedicating this rarity to Shelby’s mom who was in the house as it was dear to her heart.
Other choices that fell outside of the City of Gold tracks were Bronwyn’s “Open Water”, which seeing live is worth the price of admission alone, Molly and Company’s take on Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, and a closing encore with Christina Vane joining the band for a wonderful rendition of Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”. Other songs were pulled from Molly’s 2023 Grammy Award-winning album Crooked Tree and included the title track, “She’ll Change”, “Dooley’s Farm”, and “Castilleja”. The oldest choice and the only one not on the two aforementioned albums was “When You’re Ready” which appeared on her 2019 release of the same name.
When the final notes had been played, Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway stood there, arm in arm, smiling and slain, having created yet another great night of music for a crowd that was nothing short of appreciative of the talent and creativity this group brings. Having the opportunity to see such talent in both the band leader and group in these intimate settings is truly a gift and something to be cherished. The band glows from the inside out and is accessible off-stage as the music is on. From vocals to digitation, this quintet brings the heat and is worth the time and effort to see them live for those who haven’t caught this gift of creativity yet, better do so before they are playing stages ten times the size of what they are now. It's only a matter of time. Thank you, Molly and Golden Highway for doing what you do.