On Oct. 4th, Molly Tuttle and her band performed at the Unitarian Church in Ashland. Tuttle has claimed multiple awards for her music, including being the first woman to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year award.
In 2015, after studying in the Berklee College of Music’s American Roots Music Program, Tuttle moved to Nashville and began working on her new album “When You’re Ready.”
The Ashland Folk Collective is a local group that organizes shows in the valley. Working with Jefferson Public Radio, Tuttle was introduced to Ashland.
In 2017, AFC was born from co-founder Jacquie Aubert’s experiences as a touring musician and the connections one makes all over the country.
Aubert said she wanted to create “a strong family collective for touring musicians” and include “listening performances so our artists can share stories and their folk messages are heard clearly and that our musicians make a living wage.”
The AFC have been working with JPR for the past five months to bring the spotlight on more musical acts that come through the Rogue Valley.
A live session with Molly Tuttle was recorded at JPR the day of the concert, and will be available to the public shortly.
JPR Music Director Eric Teel said that “Molly’s sweet personality and relatively quiet demeanor stands in stark contrast to the aggressive mastery of her guitar.”
“When she sings, her voice has shades of another highly respected woman in modern roots music: Alison Krauss.” Teel said.
Aubert said “JPR and AFC share similar styles of music. [It] makes our partnership so easy and fun with many of our collective artists stopping in to do a Live Session with Eric Teel.”
Opening for Molly Tuttle were a duet called The Lowest Pair. Hailing from Washington state, Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee have been making music together since 2013.
The Lowest Pair kept the audience enthralled with their banjo picking and guitar plucking as well as laughing as they shared funny anecdotes from their past.
The duo will be releasing their sixth album this coming spring. After their set, Palmer T. Lee shared how excited he was to be playing at large venues and how grateful he and Winter are for AFC.
Molly Tuttle came on stage around 8pm and jumped right into a song off her new record. Accompanied by a drummer, bassist, fiddler, and electric guitar and keyboard player, Tuttle created a sound that weaved old bluegrass with the newer folk movement, and welcomed the audience to tap the feet and clap along.
Throughout the set, Tuttle, the fiddler, and the guitarist took turns playing solos. The group played for over an hour and a half before taking a bow to a standing ovation.
Tuttle and her band came out for one encore and played a folk infused version of The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek”, with the crowd singing along.
After the group finished to another standing ovation, the sense of musical connection that AFC and JPR developed was clear.
The AFC was thrilled to bring Molly Tuttle and her band into the community. “She is a total pro and the real deal,” said Aubert.
“I knew she was talented and would put on a great show, but her performance was engrossing, and it’s such a breath of fresh air to see an incredible female instrumentalist leading a band.”
AFC’s Upcoming Shows:
October 20 – Cahalen Morrison
November 8 – Jacob Jolliff Band
December 10 – John Craigie with Nicki Bluhm