Molly Tuttle “But I’d Rather Be With You” (Compass, 2020)

Molly Tuttle is a major talent. Faced with a Tennessee tornado, then a pandemic, she did what any worried musician might do – she recorded a covers album. She even taught herself digital recording techniques in order to record the album at home in Nashville; subsequently pinging the files to California for tweaking by producer Tony Berg and additional musical flavourings from a handful of ‘names’.

Tuttle has an astounding, happy-sad, beautiful voice – and serious guitar picking chops. These ten tracks are a joy to behold, plucked from the widest variety of source artists (Cat Stevens to Harry Styles, would you believe!). It’s hard to pick out standout tracks, there’s no filler whatsoever. Her take on the Stones’ ‘She’s A Rainbow’ is faithful to the baroque pop original, but with Tuttle’s extraordinary acoustic guitar picking taking the place of the original piano and keys. On Arthur Russell’s ‘A Little Lost’, she takes the avant-garde and reshapes it as the ultimate folksy lovesick lament. Even the skate-punk-ska of Rancid’s ‘Olympia, WA’ gets a Springsteen-esque, rites of passage makeover, and a vast upgrade in Tuttle’s grasp. Mr Harry Styles has some crack songwriters on his company payroll (including members of Adele’s team), ‘Sunflower Vol. 6’ is transformed from electro-reggae-pop, stripped down and rebuilt with Tuttle’s trademarked guitar terpsichore. Elsewhere there are re-inventions of tracks by The Grateful Dead, Karen Dalton and diverse others.

As ways to pass ‘down time’ go, Tuttle’s covers project is ridiculously good.

A truly excellent album of diverse, 'lockdown' covers from a major Nashville talent
9/10

Author: Mark Nenadic

Quite likes music. Doesn't really like people. From The North. Exiled in The Midlands due to radical views on whippets/flat caps. Beards and plaid shirts belong on Willie Nelson. Everybody else should smarten up a bit ..

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