Known for her eclectic voice and advanced flat-picking skills, Molly Tuttle has made a big name for herself among the bluegrass community. Local residents can see her live Sunday at the Hucrest Community Church of God.
Although she is often compared to influential bluegrass and folk artists like Alison Krauss and Joni Mitchell, Tuttle’s voice is truly her own as she implements elements of other lyrical styles into her music.
“Molly is definitely stretching boundaries,” David Hutchison, Umpqua Symphony Association president, said. “While she is being recognized by the bluegrass world for her guitar and banjo virtuosity — and, of course, her voice — she’s writing her own songs and instrumentals that veer into folk-Americana-rock-old time-indie.”
Tuttle is a 24-year-old multi-instrumentalist and award-winning bluegrass singer from Palo Alto, California. Her musical career can be traced back to when she was 9 years old, just getting her start in singing, and further expanding beyond her musical roots.
Old-time country music had always been a passion of the Tuttle family that only grew deeper over time. The bluegrass genre took over their hearts and has a deep-seated connection to their family history.
“I love to sing songs in many different styles and genres, but I grew up playing and singing bluegrass because that is what my dad would turn on around the house,” Tuttle said.
This love for music was fostered from a young age. Tuttle’s dad, Jack, is currently a sought-after music teacher in his California home and her brothers both play a variety of instruments. Therefore, Tuttle carries on the family tradition, which also included her grandfather, as a third-generation singer-songwriter and musician.
“Music is a great outlet to express my feelings whether I am happy or going through a tough time,” she said. “It is always there for me and I have often used it as a way to sort through feelings and find comfort.”
At 11 years old, Tuttle began performing on stage and she recorded her first duet album with her dad at the age of 13. Since then, she has appeared in multiple singing contests including A Prairie Home Companion, Newport Folk Festival, Stockholm Folk Festival and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.
She was also featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine in 2015 and Acoustic guitar magazine in 2017, both influential publications in the bluegrass music industry.
“It was a huge thrill and surprise to be featured on the cover of Acoustic Guitar Magazine!” she said. “It is an honor to be featured in that magazine since so many of my favorite guitarists have been in it and on the cover.”
Tuttle won first place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, was honored by the Northern California Bluegrass Association as Best Guitarist and Best Singer and received the International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Award for instrumentalist.
As an emerging guitar virtuoso, Tuttle plays in the band The Goodbye Girls alongside accomplished musicians Allison de Groot, Lena Jonsson and Britanny Karlson, whom she met in Boston while studying at the Berklee College of Music.
Tuttle also expresses her musical artistry in The Molly Tuttle Band with instrumentalists Wes Corbett, Joe K. Walsh and Hasee Ciaccio playing the banjo, mandolin and base.
“Music is a lot of different things to me. It is a way of connecting to others and the universe. It is a way of sharing and expressing feelings and thoughts. It is a way of creating more beauty and love in the world,” Tuttle said.
“To others who want to pursue music as a career, I would say just keep working hard and being persistent. Focusing on the music always keeps me grounded,” she said.
The Molly Tuttle Band will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Hucrest Community Church of God, 2075 N.W. Witherspoon, Roseburg, as part of a concert series presented by the Umpqua Symphony Association.
Tickets can be purchased online at umpquasymphony.org, at Hansen Jewelers and While Away Books, or at the door. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for students and $40 for a family of four or more.
Tuttle will be releasing her debut solo album, “Rise,” on June 2, and concert attendees will have the opportunity to purchase CDs before the official release date.