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folk alley's open mic Elias D Krell Open Mic is the place for unsigned, undiscovered or otherwise under-exposed artists to post their music and take Folk Alley's online corner stage.

This month's featured Open Mic artist is Elias D Krell  from Rhinebeck.
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Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards - "The Low Hum"







Folk Alley Blog

Folk Alley Radio Show #170810

August 12, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpg Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.

Stream this week's show.

CLICK to LISTEN: (audio may take a few seconds to load on mobile devices)

This week on Folk Alley, we dig in to NPR Music's recent feature, 'Turning the Tables - The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women' and spotlight 25 of the folk, roots, and Americana artists who made the list.

In hour one, you'll hear music by The Roches, Iris Dement, and the Dixies Chicks; in addition to true classics by Joni Mitchell and Buffy Sainte-Marie's; also top albums from legends Joan Baez, Bobbie Gentry, and Bonnie Raitt; and more.

In hour two, we'll continue the exploration of the greatest albums by women, between 1964 to 2016, including works from Emmylou Harris, Tracy Chapman, Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, and Ani DiFranco; we'll hear from legends such as Odetta, Nina Simone, and The Staples Singers featuring Mavis Staples; two albums that topped the charts in 1971 from Carole King and Janis Joplin; and more.

Find out who topped the list at #1, and join the conversation on the Folk Alley Facebook page. Did your favorites make the list? Who are the glaring omissions? Tell us what you think!



PLAYLIST

(Artist - Title - Album - Label)

Hour One:

The Roches - Mr. Sellack - The Roches - Warner Brothers

Iris DeMent - Calling For You - My Life - Warner Brothers

Norah Jones - Come Away With Me - Come Away With Me - BlueNote

Joni Mitchell - Coyote - Hejira - Asylum

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier - It's My Way - Vanguard

Sheryl Crow - Strong Enough - Tuesday Night Music Club - A & M Records

Alison Krauss & Union Station - Daylight - New Favorite - Rounder

Joan Baez - Diamonds and Rust - Diamonds and Rust - A & M

Bobbie Gentry - Ode to Billie Joe - Ode to Billie Joe - Capitol

Cassandra Wilson - Hellhound On My Trail - Blue Light 'Til Dawn - Blue Note

Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces - Wide Open Spaces - Monument/Sony Music

Indigo Girls - Land of Canaan - Indigo Girls - Epic

Bonnie Raitt - The Road's My Middle Name - Nick Of Time - Capitol/EMI

(Hour Two)

Emmylou Harris - Goin' Back To Harlan - Wrecking Ball - Elektra

Tracy Chapman - Fast Car - Tracy Chapman - Elektra

The Staples Singers - I'll Take You There - Be Altitude: Respect Yourself - Stax

Gillian Welch - Red Clay Halo - Time (The Revelator) - Acony

Odetta - It's A Mighty World - It's A Mighty World - RCA/Victor

Nina Simone - Backlash Blues - Nina Simone Sings the Blues - RCA/Victor

Ani DiFranco - Little Plastic Castle - Little Plastic Castle - Righteous Babe

Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Roaad - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road - Mercury

Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors - Coat of Many Colors

Carole King - I Feel the Earth Move - Tapestry - Ode

Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee - Pearl - Columbia

Joni Mitchell - All I Want - Blue - Reprise

Joni Mitchell - A Case of You - Blue - Reprise


Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 12:04 PM

NPR Music First Listen: David Rawlings, 'Poor David's Almanack'

August 7, 2017

by Stephen Thompson, NPR Music

poor-david-s-almanack_sq.jpgDavid Rawlings has made a career out of a sort of unassuming generosity. Though he's led his own band, the Dave Rawlings Machine, he's spent much of his adult life supporting the work of bigger names like Old Crow Medicine Show, Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams, for whom he wrote "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)." And, of course, Rawlings has played, sung and written alongside Gillian Welch -- they've recorded eight albums together, including modern classics that bear her name, like Revival and Time (The Revelator).

Poor David's Almanack is their third collaboration to give Rawlings top billing, after Dave Rawlings Machine's A Friend Of A Friend and Nashville Obsolete. Like those albums, this one steers the spotlight in his direction, while still showcasing the pair's almost supernatural chemistry. As a general rule, while Gillian Welch records can sound spare to the point of barrenness, Rawlings' songs are more inclined to fill the space around his voice.

Poor David's Almanack follows suit with a sweetly engaging, impressively wide-ranging collection of American roots music. With the help of a long list of co-conspirators -- including Dawes and Old Crow Medicine Show -- Rawlings sounds equally adept at stark ballads ("Airplane"), sweet old-time folk songs ("Good God A Woman"), string-infused Americana ("Midnight Train") and sly, banjo-forward rave-ups ("Money Is The Meat In The Coconut"). The common thread is the love at their core.

Stream 'Poor David's Almanck' in its entirety at NPR Music HERE.

Upcoming tour dates

Posted by Linda Fahey at 1:44 PM

Folk Alley Radio Show #170803

August 6, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpg Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.

Stream this week's show, on-demand, right here.

CLICK to LISTEN: (audio may take a few seconds to load on mobile devices)

This week on Folk Alley, it's a show first heard in August of 2016. We'll turn on the summer heat with tracks from Iris Dement, Kenny Vaughan, and Django Reinhardt; an exclusive Folk Alley in-studio session featuring Ana Egge & the Sentimentals; a 2'fer from The Stray Birds 2016 release, 'Magic Fire'; and more music from Neko Case, k.d. lang, Laura Veirs, Parsonsfield, Hiss Golden Messenger, and others.

In hour two, music from Lori McKenna, Jason Isbell, and The Pine Hill Project (Richard Shindell & Lucy Kaplansky), Kris Drever, and The Avett Brothers; plus a set from Joan Baez's 75th birthday celebration concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York; exclusive in-studio recordings from David Wax Museum and Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo; and more favorites from Mandolin Orange and Doc Watson.



PLAYLIST

(Artist - Title - Album - Label)

Hour One:

Iris Dement - Hotter Than Mojave In My Heart - Infamous Angel - Warner Bros

Django Reinhardt - Hot Lips - The Definitive Django Reinhardt Series Vol 5 - JSP

Kenny Vaughan - Hot Like That - Kenny Vaughan - Sugar Hill

The Stray Birds - Sabrina - Magic Fire - Yep Roc records

The Stray Birds - Third day In A Row - Magic Fire - Yep Roc Records

Ana Egge & the Sentimentals - Say That Now (in-studio) - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Ana Egge & the Sentimentals - He's A Killer Now (in-studio) - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Ana Egge & the Sentimentals - Away We Go (in-studio) - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Hiss Golden Messenger - Biloxi - Heart Like A Levee - Merge Records

Tony Furtado - Willow John - Full Circle - Rounder

Neko Case, k.d.lang and Laura Veirs - Delirium - case/lang/veirs - Anti/Epitaph

Parsonsfield - Stronger - Blooming Through the Black - Signature Sounds

Jesse Winchester - That's What Makes You Strong (live) - Live From Mountain Stage - Blue Plate

Hour Two:

Kris Drever - If Wishes Were Horses - If Wishes Were Horses - Reveal Records

Uncle Earl - Wish I Had My Time Again - Waterloo, Tennessee - Rounder

The Avett Brothers - I Wish I Was - True Sadness - Republic

Lori McKenna - All These Things - The Bird & The Rifle - CN Records/Thirty Tigers

Jason Isbell - Flagship - Something More Than Free - Southeastern Records

Joan Baez - There But For Fortune (live) - 75th Birthday Celebration - Razor & Tie

Joan Baez (feat. Damien Rice) - She Moved Through the Fair (live) - 75th Birthday Celebration - Razor & Tie

David Wax Museum - Born With A Broken Heart (in-studio) - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Frank Vignola w/ Vinny Raniolo - Tico Tico (in-studio) - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Mandolin Orange - Wildfire - Blindfaller - Yep Roc Records

Doc Watson - St. Louis Blues - At Gerdes Folk City - Sugar Hill

Richard Shindell - Stray Cow Blues - Careless - Amalgamated Balladry

The Pine Hill Project - Sweetest Thing - Tomorrow You're Going - Signature Sounds


Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 10:58 AM

Video Premiere: Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards, "The Low Hum"

August 2, 2017

by Linda Fahey

LC and the DC CA Calling.jpgOnce again, Boston proves itself to be a vibrant incubator for folk and roots-based artists who are taking music into adventurous new realms. Add Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards - Jenna Moynihan (fiddle), Valerie Thompson (cello), and Natalie Bohrn (bass) - to the growing list of exciting, innovative bands coming from the Northeast.

With Laura Cortese (a seasoned "sideman") at the helm as bandleader and driving force behind the group, the quartet is set to release their debut album, 'California Calling' on Compass Records later this fall.

For the lead track, "The Low Hum," Cortese says: "We went on an arranging retreat up to Montreal in January of 2016 to explore music for the first ever Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards studio album. Valerie was freshly out of the hospital after having foot surgery and was recuperating in one room while Jenna, Natalie and I started talking about the absurd experiences of our day including getting someone with a broken foot up three flights of snowy Montreal stairs and breaking the key to our hosts house off in their door. Jenna had brought a banjo on the retreat in the hopes of challenging herself on this new instrument so we decided to create the basis for the song on the banjo. Jenna came up with a riff while Natalie and I started to sing the verse melody. We gravitated towards singing the verses in three-part harmony. When it came time to work on the chorus we decided to wait for Valerie's input. Months later, on another writing retreat in Iceland with all four of us ready and able, we hashed out the chorus and the arrangement."

Further she says, "This video was shot in an apartment in Sodermalm Stockholm on a sunny day off on our Swedish tour by musician, sound engineer and videographer Petter Berndalen. We are totally enamored with the ethereal quality Petter captured on video to suit the song."

Look for 'California Calling' due out in early October on Compass Records. Pre-order available HERE.

Upcoming tour dates

Posted by Linda Fahey at 1:57 PM

Folk Alley Radio Show #170727

July 29, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpg Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.

Stream this week's show, on-demand, right here.

CLICK to LISTEN:

This week, a nod to the late, great Jerry Garcia who would've turned 75 on Aug. 1 with music by the Grateful Dead, Old & In the Way, and New Riders of the Purple Sage; new music from the 5-piece progressive bluegrass band, Old Salt Union, from their new self-titled album; an exclusive in-studio session from singer-songwriter, Amila K Spicer; more new music from Sera Cahoone, Steve Earle & The Dukes, and Slaid Cleaves; plus favorites from Rosanne Cash, Bob Dylan and more.

In hour two, the latest from Cory Chisel & Adriel Denae, I'm With Her (Aoife O'Donovan, Sara Watkins, and Sarah Jarosz); Jason Wilber, Twisted Pine, Applewood Road, and Sarah Jane Scouten; we'll feature exclusive Folk Alley Sessions recordings from Quebec's 2017 FestiTrad festival with music by André Marchand & Grey Larsen with Cindy Kallet; plus favorites from Mark Erelli, Valerie June, Mavis Staples, and more.



PLAYLIST

(Artist - Title - Album - Label)

Hour One:

Grateful Dead - Ripple - American Beauty - Warner Bros

Old and In the Way - Jerry's Breakdown - Breakdown - Acoustic

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Glendale Train - The Best of New Riders of the Purple Sage - Columbia/Legacy

Sera Cahoone - Time To Give - From Where I Started - Lady Muleskinner Records

Bob Dylan - Time Passes Slowly #1 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol 10 - Sony/Columbia

Amilia K Spicer - Train Wreck - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Amilia K Spicer - This Town - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Amilia K Spicer - Shotgun - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Amilia K Spicer - Windchill - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Old Salt Union - Where I Stand - Old Salt Union - Compass Records

Rosanne Cash - The Sunken Lands - The River & The Thread - Blue Note Records

Steve Earle & The Dukes - The Girl On The Mountain - So You Wannabe An Outlaw - Warner Brothers

Slaid Cleaves - Drunken Barber's Hand - Ghost On The Car Radio - Candy House Media

Chris Castle - Perfect World - Last Bird Home - Dirtsandwich Music

Hour Two:

Tom Paxton (feat. John Prine) - Skeeters'll Gitcha - Redemption Road - Pax Records

Twisted Pine - Hogwild - Twisted Pine - Signature Sounds

I'm With Her (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan) - Little Lies - Little Lies (EP) - I'm With Her/Rounder

Jason Wilber - Heaven (feat. Iris Dement) - Reaction Time - WilberTone

Iris Dement - The Shores of Jordan - My Life - Warner Bro

André Marchand & Grey Larsen - A Pack of Lies (Les menteries)/Cedulie's Reel (Reel à Cédulie) - Folk Alley Sessions at FestiTrad - Folk Alley Exclusive

André Marchand & Grey Larsen w/ Cindy Kallet - C'est par un beau Samedi d'Été - Folk Alley Sessions at FestiTrad - Folk Alley Exclusive

Sarah Jane Scouten - When the Bloom Falls From the Rose - When the Bloom Falls from the Rose - Light Organ Records

The Deep Dark Woods - Red, Red Rose - Jubilee - Sugar Hill

Cory Chisel & Adiel Denae - Spent It All - Tell Me True - Refuge Foundation for the

Mavis Staples (feat. Valerie June) - High Note - Livin' On A High Note - Anti

Valerie June - Astral Plane - The Order Of Time - Concord Music Group

Mark Erelli - Long Gone - Milltowns - Hillbilly Pilgrim Music

Applewood Road - To the Stars - Applewood Road - Gearbox Records


Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 9:43 PM

Video Premiere: Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters, "Birthday Song"

July 27, 2017

by Elena See, Folk Alley

AAP Birthday Song 200.jpgMake peace with it - that's the best piece of advice I (or anyone) can give you. Make peace with the fact that, yeah, every year, there's going to be a new ache or pain, a new wrinkle or line, a new droop. It's part of getting older - it's part of living.

Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters are living large in 2017. With a new name and a new self-titled album, this talented bunch of musical friends aren't afraid to hit the road, to try new things, and to admit that they, like all of us, have moments of insecurity about life, living, and getting older.

And that's what the video for "Birthday Song" is all about. Shot in and around their home base of Asheville, North Carolina (and at Birdfest in Pinewood, South Carolina and in Dandridge, Tennessee, too), you see the band as they live their lives. At home, in the kitchen, on the road, on the stage - this quintet is making music, and celebrating the fact that their lives keep on moving forward.

Yeah, you're getting older.
But the alternative isn't great, is it? So, take heart and be glad to be where and when you are.

###
Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters' self-titled album is out now and available at iTunes and Amazon.com

Upcoming UK tour dates

Posted by Linda Fahey at 10:19 PM

Folk Alley Radio Show #170720

July 22, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpg Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.


**Audio for this episode is no longer available.**

This week on Folk Alley, we say Happy Birthday to Alison Krauss; spotlight new music by Nashville-based songwriter, Korby Lenker from his new album 'Thousand Springs'; and we feature our exclusive in-studio session with Michigan-based duo, Red Tail Ring; plus favorites from Gillian Welch, Shovels & Rope, and others.

In hour two, new music from Cory Chisel & Adriel Denae's upcoming release, 'Tell Me True'; Boston-based, progressive stringband, Twisted Pine, Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo', Lonesome River Band, and Justin Townes Earle; exclusive recordings from Quebec's 2017 FestiTrad fesival featuring the great, André Brunet; plus favorites by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Lori McKenna, and many more.



PLAYLIST

(Artist - Title - Album - Label)

Hour ONE:

Alison Krauss - Poison Love - Windy City - Capitol Records

Lyle Lovett - More Pretty Girls Than One - Step Inside This House - MCA

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Please Read the Letter - Raising Sand - Rounder

Korby Lenker - Nothing Really Matters - Thousand Springs - Soundly Music

Korby Lenker - Book Nerd - Thousand Springs - Soundly Music

Red Tail Ring - Wondrous Love/Lay Aside Your Crown - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Red Tail Ring - Love of the City - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

Red Tail Ring - Fall Away Blues - Folk Alley Sessions - Folk Alley Exclusive

The Infamous Stringdusters - Gravity - Laws of Gravity - Compass Records

Gillian Welch - Wichita (Revival Outtake) - Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg - Acony Records

Shovels & Rope - The Last Hawk - Little Seeds - New West Records

Steve Earle & The Dukes - Goodbye Michelangelo - So You Wannabe An Outlaw - Warner Brothers

Hour TWO:

Darden Smith - Firefly - Everything - Compass Records

Michael J. Miles (Bradley Williams) - Firefly Sonata - New Century Suite - Self

Lori McKenna - Fireflies - Pieces of Me - Catalyst

Twisted Pine - Bound To Do It Right (The Jersey City Song) - Twisted Pine - Signature Sounds

Jesse Winchester - Do It - The Best of Jesse Winchester - Rhino

André Brunet - À Plein Souffle, La veillée chez Lucien Piché, Le bateau à roue, Garde ton soufflé - Folk Alley Sessions at FestiTrad - Folk Alley Exclusive

André Brunet - La Fille Morte - Folk Alley Sessions at FestiTrad - Folk Alley Exclusive

Cory Chisel & Adriel Denae - Songbird - Tell Me True - Refuge Foundation for the

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - The Traveling Kind - The Traveling Kind - Nonesuch Records

Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo' - That's Who I Am - TajMo - Concord Records

The Show Ponies - Sweetly - How It All Goes Down - Freeman Records

Driftwood - The Sun's Going Down - Driftwood - Driftwood

Lonesome River Band - Ida Red - Mayhayley's House - Mountain Home Music

Justin Townes Earle - Fade Valentine - Kids in the Street - New West Records


Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 11:09 AM

Folk Alley Radio Show #170713

July 15, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpg Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.

Stream this week's show, on-demand, right here.

**Audio for this episode is no longer available.**

This week in hour one, we salute the Father of Folk Music, Woody Guthrie on his 105 Birthday; and feature new music from Offa Rex, Twisted Pine, and Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters; we'll hear an exclusive in-studio session with Portland-based singer-songwriter, John Craigie; some classic Piedmont blues from Warner Williams and Eddie Pennington; plus favorites from The Howlin' Brothers and many more.

In hour two, more new music from the Lonesome River Band, Slaid Cleaves, Steve Earle & The Dukes, and Oh Susanna; an exclusive Folk Alley recording from the 2017 FestiTrad in Quebec featuring the a capella qunitet, Musique à Bouche; plus more favorites from John Prine, Greg Brown, The Avett Brothers, Eilen Jewell, The Wood Brothers, Dave Alvin & Rosie Flores, and many more.




Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 12:22 PM

Folk Alley Radio Show #170706

July 8, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpgIf you're not lucky enough to live in one of the 50 markets currently airing the Folk Alley weekly radio show, now you can stream the most recent episodes on-demand right here.

**Audio for this episode is no longer available.**

Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.

This week, in hour one, new music from Lonesome River Band, Kasey Chambers, Sam Baker, Slaid Cleaves, Rachel Baiman, and one from Oh Susanna's new album, 'A Girl In Teen City'; a set featuring exclusive recordings with Robby Hecht & Caroline Spence from the 2017 30A Songwriters Festival; everything will be alright with Deb Talan and Bob Dylan; plus more favorites from Rod Picott and Jimmy LaFave.

In hour two, more new music from Offa Rex, Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer, The Mavericks, and Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit; we'll hear a track from Twisted Pine's self-titled debut album, and a new live track from the O'Connor Band with Mark O'Connor; plus favorites from Gretchen Peters, Elephant Revival, Nickel Creek, and more.



Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 7:36 PM

A Q & A with Molly Tuttle

July 7, 2017

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for Folk Alley

molly tuttle.jpg .jpgAsk pretty much anyone over, say, 35 to name the best pickers in roots music and their list would likely include the standards: Bryan Sutton, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, et al. But, if you asked someone in the younger set, that list might very well include Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, and Molly Tuttle. With her new EP, Rise, Tuttle aims to secure her place on the list, while also showcasing her talents as a singer and a songwriter.

Kelly McCartney: You made some big geographic moves over the past few years. How did the different landscapes and communities inform your creative expression on this record?

Molly Tuttle: Growing up in California, I was very immersed in the bluegrass scene out there. My dad teaches music and, through him, I met a lot of local Bay Area musicians and started going to shows and festivals in the area. It was a wonderful community to grow up in because everyone was very supportive. I fell in love with jamming and performing with friends who played bluegrass and that is how I started down the path of wanting to pursue music as a career.

When I moved to Boston to study music at Berklee, I became interested in music theory for the first time and was also exposed to many different styles of music that I previously hadn't listened to or studied. A lot of my guitar teachers came from jazz and blues backgrounds so I was exposed to different ways of thinking about music and different ways of approaching improvisation which was really great. Now, living in Nashville, I am completely inspired by the incredible musicianship and creativity that thrives here. It has been a huge learning experience to try co-writing with more experienced writers around town.

From Hazel Dickens to Bob Dylan, how do you hear your different influences coming through your work?

Hazel was one of the first people I listened to who inspired me to try and find a unique voice and try writing my own songs from my own life experiences. In her writing and singing, you can tell that everything comes straight from her heart and that really spoke to me. She has her own way of singing and writing that doesn't really fit in any box -- it is totally her own.

When I listened to Bob Dylan for the first time, I immediately was blown away by his lyrics and how he seemed to break conventional songwriting "rules." He really inspired me, as a writer, to be a little more free with song form and lyrical content. Joni Mitchell was another big hero of mine who I got into in college. I feel influenced by her creative guitar voicings -- she is one of my favorite guitarists. Dave Rawlings is another big guitar hero of mine who taught me that is okay to break "rules" with what notes and intervals you play.

Even though you're very clear about expanding your musical horizons, are you expecting or have you experienced any pushback from the "that ain't bluegrass" crowd? If so, how do you handle that tactfully?

I have experienced a little push back, but not as much as I might have thought I would when I first started writing my own songs and breaking away from the traditional bluegrass sound. I think the shift for me has happened gradually, and I am lucky to have amazing and loyal fans who support the direction that I am heading in.

You've been making music for more than half your life now, sometimes alongside legends. How do you balance confidence, nervousness, and humility in those situations?

Over time, my confidence in myself and as an artist has grown. I used to be very self-conscious when playing and performing, especially around musicians that I admired. Experience and time has taught me that it's okay to make mistakes and that I have something valuable to offer with my music. It has taken me a while to find a balance between being confident in my abilities in any situation, and also recognizing how much I have to learn from others.

In a perfect world, what would you want people to take away from your music?

I think that music can make people feel a sense of connection, hope, and joy. I hope that my music can bring comfort and happiness to others!

###

Molly Tuttle's EP, 'Rise' is available now via iTunes and Amazon.com

Upcoming tour dates

Posted by Linda Fahey at 4:00 PM

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