Grammy Award–winning singer, songwriter, and musician Molly Tuttle and her band, Golden Highway, will release their new album, City of Gold, July 21, via Nonesuch Records. You can watch the video for the album track “El Dorado” here:
City of Gold follows Tuttle’s acclaimed 2022 record, Crooked Tree, which won Best Bluegrass Album at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards and led NPR Music to call her “a female flat picker extraordinaire with agility, speed and elegance who distinctively brings American roots music into the spotlight,” adding that the album “marries the improvisatory solos of traditional bluegrass with singer-songwriter sophistication.”
Produced by Tuttle and Jerry Douglas and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios, City of Gold was inspired by Tuttle’s constant touring with Golden Highway these past few years, during which they have grown together as musicians and performers, cohering as a band. These 13 tracks—mostly written by Tuttle and Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show)—capture the electric energy of band’s live shows by highlighting each member’s musical strengths. In addition to Tuttle and Secor, Mason Via also co-wrote “Down Home Dispensary,” while Melody Walker and Shelby Means co-wrote “Next Rodeo.”
Reflecting on the project, Tuttle shares, “When I was a kid, we took a field trip to Caloma, CA to learn about the gold rush. I’ll never forget the dusty hills and the grizzled old miner who showed us the nugget around his neck. Just like gold fever, music has always captivated me, captured my heart, and driven me to great lengths to explore its depths. On my new album I dug deep as a songwriter (with Ketch Secor) and co-producer (with Jerry Douglas) and surfaced with a record that celebrates the music of my heart, my life, the land where I grew up, and the stories I heard along the way. I made this record with my band Golden Highway after playing over 100 shows across the country last year. On the road and in the studio, we are inspired by artists such as John Hartford, Gillian Welch and Peter Rowan to name a few, whose records are like family albums to us. Just like them, on this album we chart some new territory along some old familiar ground. The songs span from breakdowns to ballads, fairytales and fiddle tunes, from Yosemite up to the Gold Country and out beyond the mountains. That visit to Coloma, site of California’s first gold strike is where I first heard about El Dorado, the city of gold. Playing music can take you to a place that is just as precious. I hope you like this record!”
In addition to Tuttle (vocals, acoustic guitar), Douglas (dobro) and Golden Highway—Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle, harmony vocals), Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Shelby Means (bass, harmony vocals) and Kyle Tuttle (banjo, harmony vocals)—City of Gold also features special guest Dave Matthews on “Yosemite.”
Raised in Northern California, Tuttle moved to Nashville in 2015. In the years since, she’s been nominated for Best New Artist at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, won Album of the Year at the 2023 International Folk Music Awards, Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2022 International Bluegrass Music Awards, Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2018 Americana Music Awards and Guitar Player of the Year at the IBMAs in both 2017 and 2018, the first woman to receive the honor. Tuttle has performed around the world, including shows with Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Hiss Golden Messenger, Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show and Dwight Yoakam as well as at several major festivals including Newport Folk Festival and Pilgrimage.