Molly Tuttle kicks off Underground Sound on Sept. 24 |

Molly Tuttle kicks off Underground Sound on Sept. 24

Bluegrass Music Association’s first female Guitar Player of the Year starts the 7-show series running through Nov. 11

The Vilar Performing Arts Center’s seven-show Underground Sound Series – known as the “love for the locals” series – kicks off Friday, Sept. 24, with the only woman to be named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year: Nashville’s Molly Tuttle.

While the Underground Sound Series promotes emerging musicians, Tuttle is a performer who is well on her way. The California native, and a former roommate to musician Billy Strings, has performed with some of the biggest names in the music, including Nathaniel Rateliff, Iron & Wine, Old Crow Medicine Show and Béla Fleck.

This show is for you if you like Billy Strings, Old Crow Medicine, Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss, Amanda Shires, Punch Brothers, Patty Griffin, The Infamous Stringdusters or Emmylou Harris.

Tuttle is a virtuosic, award-winning guitarist with a gift for insightful songwriting who has appearances on morning TV shows, festivals and other venues across the country. She recently played at Red Rocks in August. In 2018, Tuttle was named Instrumentalist of the Year at the Americana Music Awards.

“I love so many types of music, and it’s exciting to be a part of different musical worlds,” she said. “But when I’m creating, I don’t think about genres or how it will fit into any particular format – it’s just music.”

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In March 2020, Tuttle experienced a devastating tornado that tore through much of East Nashville, followed by the global pandemic. Having suddenly found herself sheltering at home – along with the rest of the musicians in the community – Tuttle found solace in revisiting favorite songs from throughout her life in an attempt to “remind myself why I love music.” She conceptualized an idea for a record with renowned Los Angeles producer Tony Berg, which was recorded 2,000 miles apart.

Tuttle taught herself how to use ProTools, recorded and engineered all of her parts alone before sending them to Berg. With guest performances, the result is “… but I’d rather be with you” – a 10-track album that crosses the musical spectrum. From FKA Twigs to Cat Stevens, from Rancid to Karen Dalton, the album has songs ranging from a shimmering version of The National’s “Fake Empire” to her version of the Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow,” all united by Tuttle’s clear, true voice with astonishing range and incredible musicianship.

Since moving to Nashville in 2015, the native Californian has been welcomed into the Americana, folk and bluegrass communities, winning “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards. Her debut, the Ryan Hewitt-produced “When You’re Ready” stretched the boundaries of those genres and introduced her to a wider audience both here and abroad. Tuttle has continued to accumulate accolades, winning Folk Alliance International’s honor of Song of the Year for “You Didn’t Call My Name” and taking home consecutive trophies for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year — the first woman in the history of the IBMA to win that honor.

The seven-show Underground Sound Series lineup also includes Taylor Scott Band (Oct. 15) out of Denver that will bring the funk and energy to the VPAC stage. Sammy Miller and the Congregation (Oct. 21) will be bringing joyful jazz — something we could all use right now. Golden Dawn Arkestra – Cosmic Disco Halloween (Oct. 29) will be putting on a not-to-be-missed Halloween show. Sierra Hull with Special Guest Dead Horses (Nov. 4) brings mandolin virtuosos and the Rolling Stone recognized folk duo. Seth Walker (Nov. 11) will close out the series with his prolific Americana music and guitar skills.

The Underground Sound Pass includes tickets to seven shows and seven drinks for $125 — and new this year, the VIP Access Pass is $250 and includes:

• May Gallery access before the show

• Early entrance to the theater for preferred seat selection to all seven Underground Sound shows

• A complimentary premium drink per performance

• Complimentary appetizers, nonalcoholic beverages, espresso drinks and warm cookies

• Artist meet and greet as available

Both the Underground Sound Pass and VIP Access Pass are transferable and allowed to be shared with friends, co-workers and family throughout the duration of the series. Underground Sound performances start at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit

A proof-of-vaccination against COVID-19 policy is in place at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

Underground Sound Series schedule

•Friday, Sept. 24: Molly Tuttle

•Wednesday, Oct. 6: Jade Bird

•Friday, Oct. 15: Taylor Scott Band

•Thursday, Oct. 21: Sammy Miller and the Congregation

•Saturday, Oct. 29: Golden Dawn Arkestra – Cosmic Disco Halloween

•Thursday, Nov. 4: Sierra Hull with Special Guest Dead Horses

•Thursday, Nov. 11: Seth Walker

If you go…

Who: Molly Tuttle

When: Friday, Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

Cost: Single tickets are $35 with series passes also available.

More information: Visit The Underground Sound Series consists of seven shows Sept. 24 through Nov. 11.

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