Molly Tuttle Teams Up With Tony Trischka for a Tribute to Earl Scruggs

Banjo master Tony Trischka has tapped Molly Tuttle along with Sam Bush to be a part of his latest Earl Jam single, “Dooley.” The single will be part of Trischka’s forthcoming album Earl Jam: A Tribute to Earl Scruggs, out on June 7.

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“I first met Molly Tuttle at Shasta Camp in northern California,” Trischka recalled in a press release. “There were three banjo teachers, myself and two others, and there was only one banjo student, Molly Tuttle.” From there, Trischka invited Tuttle to be part of his Of A Winter’s Night holiday show at Levon Helm’s Barn and studios, where the album of the same name was recorded.

“Dooley” features Trischka on banjo and Tuttle on guitar, with Sam Bush joining in with a verse. The single also includes Bronwyn Keith-Hynes—Tuttle’s Golden Highway bandmate—on fiddle and backing vocals, Mark Schatz on bass, and Trischka’s son Sean on backing vocals.

Earl Jam: A Tribute to Earl Scruggs is a reimagining of Scruggs’ work with the late John Hartford, as well as many others. The album can be pre-saved now, and released on June 7. The first single from the forthcoming album was “Brown’s Ferry Blues” featuring Billy Strings.

[RELATED: 2024 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival Lineup to Include Del McCoury Band, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Many More]

The Origins of Tony Trischka’s Earl Jam Album

Tony Trischka received a thumb drive in the mail one day featuring more than 200 recordings of Earl Scruggs and his contemporaries. Most of the recordings were taken at home jam sessions in the 1980s and 90s. Trischka devised a project from these recordings almost immediately. While it all happened in the height of the pandemic, he wasn’t one to put his creative endeavors on hold.

First, Trischka premiered some of the songs, reimagined, during a showcase at Joe’s Pub in New York City. With support from Down the Road Records, Trischka fleshed out the project and brought in friends and contemporaries.

“Whether or not you’re a banjo player, if you play bluegrass, you’re influenced by Earl. So it was easy to get world-class players on board,” said Trischka, per a press release.

Big names on the album include Stuart Duncan, Ronnie McCoury, and Darol Anger. Additionally, Molly Tuttle, Brittany Haas, Dominick Leslie, and Billy Strings are featured. The project is “cross-generational” and showcases the lasting influence Earl Scruggs has had on bluegrass.

Featured Image by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Cindy Ord/Getty Images

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