One rationale why there hasn’t been contents about Molly Tuttle for quite a while is that I missed to review her April 2022 album Crooked Tree. The album made it to the second spot in the US Bluegrass Album charts and won a Grammy Award for the Best Bluegrass Album. Time to do it better this time. My review of City of Gold is my second Molly Tuttle album check, after her 2020 release … But I’d Rather Be With You. Overall, City of Gold is Tuttle’s fourth studio album. Release date of the album is 21st July 2023.
Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway – About The Artists
Molly Rose Tuttle is a San Francisco Bay-origin artist, who is nowadays living in Nashville. Even though she is nowadays typically regarded as a country folk and bluegrass artist, she also worked in other genres. Especially in some collaboration, she touched jazz, Scandinavian music and other styles. Her band Golden Highway consists of mandolinist Dominick Leslie, bajonist Kyle Tuttle, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes on the fiddle and Shelby Means (bass). There is some more bio in my ... But I’d Rather Be With You review.
Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway – City of Gold – Track by Track
The thirteen song album lasts 47 minutes.
1. El Dorado
A bit of bluegrass, a touch of Texas country – that’s about El Dorado. The song has not only been one of the single releases of the album, the song about the mysterious gold land in South America is also the title track of the album somehow. Lovely work by the members of Golden Highway, who create a very wide and virtuous backing sound.
2. Where Did All The Wild Things Go
The basis of the second song is more on the bluegrass side. However, the storytelling peaking in the title being several times in the chorus, is a lovely catchy. Especially the vocals feel very modern The song is very entertaining in my point of view.
3. San Joaquin
San Joaquin might not have mainstream radio potential, but the speedy, cheeky song makes you smile and move. The City of Gold also needs some fun tunes – and that’s exactly what this recording is delivering.
4. Yosemite (feat. Dave Matthews)
At this fourth song, the title already illustrates that we don’t care about the City of Gold in here only. The collaboration with Dave Matthews works very fine in here as well, so that Yosemite is a really nice and straight listen.
5. Next Rodeo
Next Rodeo is the last of three previously released tracks. The song sounds like a modern country track, but still has this slight bluegrass texture in the background. Nice work on the fiddle as well. A song which simply lets me smiile.
6. When My Race Is Run
The sixth song is a ballad with a fine, fragile sound. Again, the vocal arrangements as well as the excellence on the instruments is leading to a lovely and gentle listen.
7. Alice in the Bluegrass
What is happening if Alice in Wonderland is taking a detour and popping up in Kentucky? I am sure you all did ask yourself exactly that question. At least Molly Tuttle did so at some point in the past and wrote this song about it. Alice definitely had fun (So she danced all the night with a bottle in her hand) – and I love listening to it. One of the best songs of the album. Hope the next album features something about The White Rabbit… Or the Queen of Hearts…
8. Stranger Things
The eighth song is a slow, darker listen. That special touch leads to a rather exposed character of the song in the context of the full album. Even though the song is not on my list of favorites, I just cannot deny it is a nice ditty in this album.
9. Down Home Dispensary
Down Howm Dispensary is doing a very traditional sound, with a present banjo, a lot of fiddle lines and a rather speedy melody. Even though the melody feels rather easy and you might want to dance to it, it is in fact a critics against Tennessee politics.
10. More Like a River
More Like a River slows down the speed of the album again. The rather short three minute song also rather leans towards bluegrass than some of the songs before. Nice thoughtful song.
11. Goodbye Mary
The eleventh song is one of these Molly Tuttle writes, which feel like a song written many decades ago.Goodbye Mary works with a very limited set of instruments, which leads to a very nice, strong focus on the lyrics.
12. Evergreen, OK
The second last song is another rather short song with a bluegrass sound. This automatically feels to put a stronger focus on the band and their instruments. Very nice and skillful performance by them.
13. The First Time I Fell in Love
The First Time I Fell in Love is taking you back to when Molly Tuttle was 17 years old. However, the song is not about a boy who gave her wonderful feelings – she just started to love herself and accept herself. Ain’t that a beautiful topic? I definitely love it.
Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway – City of Gold – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway – City of Gold – My View
Compared to the album I reviewed three years ago, Molly Tuttle did such a big step. City of Gold is a lovely listen with a great range of sounds and songs as well. Her storytelling is excellent, the band feels to be very balanced. I love it!
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