Acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician Molly Tuttle’s new song, “Big Backyard,” featuring special guests Old Crow Medicine Show alongside her new bluegrass collective, Golden Highway, is debuting today. Listen/share HERE. “Big Backyard” is the latest song unveiled from Tuttle’s anticipated Nonesuch Records debut, Crooked Tree, set for release on April 1 (pre-order here).
Reflecting on the song, Tuttle shares, “I wish that Woody Guthrie were still around. I’d love to hear the songs he would write about the crazy world we’re living in today. But since he’s not, Ketch Secor and I wrote the best Woody Guthrie song we could think of. Old Crow Medicine Show joined in on the chorus and made it shine. We’re all one family in the big backyard, it ain’t mine it ain’t yours it’s all of ours!”
Recorded live at Nashville’s Oceanway Studios, Crooked Tree was produced by Tuttle and Jerry Douglas and featurescollaborations with Old Crow Medicine Show, Sierra Hull, Margo Price, Billy Strings, Dan Tyminski and Gillian Welch. The album explores Tuttle’s love of bluegrass, which she discovered through her father, a music teacher and multi-instrumentalist, and her grandfather, a banjo player. Across these thirteen tracks, all of which were written/co-written by Tuttle, she honors the bluegrass tradition while also pushing the genre in new directions.
Ahead of Crooked Tree’s release, Tuttle has shared three additional album tracks: “Dooley’s Farm” feat. Billy Strings, “She’ll Change” and “Crooked Tree,” of which Guitar World praises, “You can practically hear the crackle of flames rising from Tuttle’s acoustic during the guitar break after the song’s first chorus – such is the speed and precision of her award-winning, dead-on-perfect picking.” Additionally, Mojo says of the album, “Bluegrass’s young Californian trailblazer needs no supporting cast, but this LP with her new bluegrass collective Golden Highway is a dazzling pass-the-parcel of Nashville cats showboating. Its fine songs take precedence though. Everything sounds alive, vital and perfectly in focus.”
In celebration of the new music, Tuttle and Golden Highway—Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Dominick Leslie(mandolin), Shelby Means (bass) and Kyle Tuttle (banjo)—are currently in the midst of their extensive headline tour with upcoming shows at Nashville’s Station Inn, New York’s Brooklyn Made, Philadelphia’s Milkboy, Savannah’s District Live, Tampa’s The Attic and Alexandria’s Birchmere among several others. See below for the complete itinerary.
“I always knew I wanted to make a bluegrass record someday,” says Tuttle. “Once I started writing, everything flowed so easily: sometimes I’ve felt an internal pressure to come up with a sound no one’s heard before, but this time my intention was just to make an album that reflected the music that’s been passed down through generations in my family. I found a way to do that while writing songs that feel true to who I am, and it really helped me to grow as a songwriter.”
In addition to Tuttle (vocals, guitars), Douglas (dobro), Keith-Hynes (fiddle) and Leslie (mandolin), Crooked Tree also features musicians Darol Anger (fiddle), Ron Block (banjo), Mike Bub (upright bass), Jason Carter (fiddle), Viktor Krauss (upright bass), Todd Phillips (upright bass) and Christian Sedelmyer (fiddle) with additional harmony vocals from Tina Adair, Lindsay Lou and Melody Walker.