Molly Tuttle (born 1993) is a vocalist, songwriter, banjo player and guitarist, recording artist and teacher in the bluegrass tradition, noted for her flatpicking, clawhammer, and cross-picking guitar prowess. She has cited Laurie Lewis, Kathy Kallick, and Hazel Dickens as role models. In 2017, Tuttle was the first woman to win the International Bluegrass Music Association's Guitar Player of the Year award.
She went on to win the award a second time in 2018.
Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tuttle began playing guitar at age 8, and at age 11 played onstage with her father Jack Tuttle, a bluegrass multi-instrumentalist and instructor. At age 15, she joined her family band The Tuttles with AJ Lee. Her siblings Sullivan (guitar) and Michael (mandolin), and mandolist AJ Lee are also in the band.
In 2006, at age 13, Tuttle recorded The Old Apple Tree with her dad, an album of duets.
In 2011, the Tuttles self-released their Introducing the Tuttles album, and the Endless Ocean album in 2013.
2012 was a breakout year for Tuttle. She:
was awarded merit scholarships to the Berklee College of Music for music and composition
received the Foundation for Bluegrass Music's first Hazel Dickens Memorial Scholarship
won the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at the Merlefest Music Festival
was named Best Female Vocalist and Best Guitar Player by the Northern California Bluegrass Society
While studying at the Berklee College of Music, in 2014, Tuttle met and joined the all-female bluegrass group the Goodbye Girls. They combine bluegrass, jazz, and Swedish folk music. Other members are Allison de Groot (banjo), Lena Jonsson (fiddle), and Britanny Karlson (bass). They released an EP Going to Boston in 2014, and the album Snowy SIde of the Mountain in 2016. The band has also toured Jonsson's home country Sweden several times.
Tuttle also recorded Molly Tuttle & John Mailander, a duet EP with fiddler John Mailander.
In 2018, she joined Alison Brown, Missy Raines, Sierra Hull, and Becky Buller in a supergroup. The quintet performed at the Rockygrass festival in Lyons Colorado on July 27 2018. Initially known as the Julia Belles, the group later became known as the First Ladies of Bluegrass. Additional gigs were booked at Analog at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville on Sept 18, 2018 and the IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass Festival on September 28, 2018.
The First Ladies of Bluegrass are featured on the first single from a full length CD by Missy Raines titled Royal Traveler due out October 5, 2018 on Compass Records.
In 2015, Tuttle moved from Boston to Nashville. Her EP Rise was released in 2017 after a crowdfunding campaign. She wrote all of the songs on the 7-song album, which was produced by Kai Welch. Guests included Darrell Scott, the Milk Carton Kids, Kathy Kallick, and Nathaniel Smith.
She formed The Molly Tuttle Band, which includes Wes Corbett (banjo), Joe K. Walsh (mandolin), and Hasee Ciaccio (bass).