ALBUM REVIEW: When You're Ready by Molly Tuttle

ALREADY decorated with awards, Molly Tuttle finally releases her debut album - here's our verdict.

SINGER-songwriter Molly Tuttle's debut album has been a long time coming. 

Already named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year — the first woman to win that honour) and Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her EP, Rise, Tuttle has kept fans waiting for a full-length collection.

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From California via Nashville, the multi-instrumentalist may only be 25 but she’s had plenty of time to polish her craft, having made her first recording at just 13.

Clearly not cowed by the responsibilty, she’s produced a collection of sweetness and soul which leaves you wanting more.

New LP When You’re Ready (out on Friday) oozes with confidence.

This is an artist who knows exactly what she wants to do and how to do it.

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The collection opens with Million Miles, reportedly a song intended for fellow country star Jewel in the 1990s but left unfinished by a songwriting collaborator.

Tuttle’s finished version is wonderful, the wistful tale of wanting all your troubles — and yourself — to be cleansed of a messy break-up.

It evokes imagery of the singer being carried away on her sofa by a flood and has a cracking chorus. Lovely stuff.

Other highlights include the moving, sensitive title track, the yearning but pretty Don’t Let Go and the punchy, fun The High Road and Lights Came On (Power Went Out)” — the latter relating a romance sparked by a power cut.

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Messed with my Mind recalls Aimee Mann, while Make My Mind Up is a sweet tale of hesistant love.

If the song-writing is outstanding, the musicianship is right up there.

Tuttle, rightly renowned for her playing style (variously described as cross-picking and flat-picking), is backed by a band in great form and the overall impression left is one of high quality.

Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves showed last year how country and bluegrass stars can cross over when they blend folk and even poppy elements into their songs.

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Tuttle — apparently following a similar policy while very much treading her own path — is certaone to watch.  

In the blurb, Tuttle says: “I love so many types of music and it’s exciting to be a part of and embraced by different musical worlds, but when I’m creating I don’t think about genres or how it will fit into any particular format - it’s just music.”

She certainly defies pigeon-holing and fans of folk, Americana, country and more will find much to enjoy here.

You can see her in action at The Greystones in Sheffield on April 18. Click here for ticket details.

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