Friday, February 10, 2017

January 31, 2017
L to R: Bryan McDowell, Claire Lynch, Molly Tuttle, Jarrod Walker, Rob Ickes
At rear: Trey Hensley and Mark Schatz
      It comes as no surprise that Nashville, Tennessee, is the place for all kinds of music. When it comes to bluegrass music, we often think of the beloved Station Inn, the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, and another spot or two. We are delighted to know that the City Winery at 609 Lafayette Street has acknowledged the popularity of the real, honest, people-oriented genre called bluegrass. The founding fathers, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, the Louvin Brothers and more, are considered the first generation. We have them to thank for starting it all. Now that we are well into the second generation and heading toward the third wave with younger bluegrass artists, we notice that much of the music has stayed the same, yet change has started. The New Grass Revival kicked it off and artists from everywhere are putting their own special touches on the music. "Everything old is new again" has found its way even into bluegrass music. See below just what I am talking about. They are grabbing songs from everywhere and doing them 21st century style. We love it!                                                                      
Molly Tuttle
Jarrod Walker, Bryan McDowell, and Molly Tuttle
       At our recent visit to the City Winery, we were first introduced to MOLLY TUTTLE, a West Coast native who has found her way to Nashville. Students of the music recognize the Tuttle name from the band known throughout California and the Western states. Molly comes right out of THE TUTTLES, a band founded by her father Jack Tuttle. Molly Tuttle is a keeper! She is comfortable at the microphone with her powerful voice, and her guitar style is something to see and hear. Molly is the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award winner. That means just watch her move up fast!
       Molly Tuttle brought us six quick songs and we would have loved to hear more. She performed Friend and a Friend, Girl in My Shoes, Lightning in a Jar, Old Man of the Mill (clawhammer-style on the guitar, amazing!), Cold Rain and Snow, and White Freightliner Blues.
L to R: Trey Hensley on guitar and vocals and Rob Ickes on Dobro (r) and vocals
        Two of the hottest artists on the bluegrass/country music scene are ROB ICKES [Dobro(r) and vocals] and TREY HENSLEY (guitar and vocals). Rob and Trey even joined Molly Tuttle on several songs. Oh! What a night! Rob goes back many years with the incredible band BLUE HIGHWAY. Trey has been working his way toward Nashville from his hometown of Telford, which is near Jonesborough in East Tennessee. You need to hear his powerful voice and his guitar work! To borrow from Molly Tuttle's song, those two gentlemen are some serious 'lightning in a jar'! Fast, solid, and awesome, Ickes and Hensley are blazing their own trail. Here is what they dished out to the fans: Fast Train to Georgia, My Way Is the Highway, Willie Jones (a Charlie Daniels song), Pray Enough (you never can!), Pride and Joy (a Stevie Ray Vaughan song), Ballad of a Well-Known Gun (from their "Country Blues" album), That's What Leavin's For, ("Country Blues" album), and Leave My Woman Alone (a Ray Charles song).
L to R: Bryan McDowell on fiddle, Claire Lynch on guitar, Mark Schatz on bass, and Jarrod Walker on mandolin
      THE CLAIRE LYNCH BAND hardly needs an introduction around Tennessee and neighboring states, especially Claire's home state of Alabama...after her family moved to the South from New York. Do you remember Claire in THE FRONT PORCH STRING BAND from a few years back? Of course you do! Claire plays guitar and handles lead vocals. She is the three-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year. Her fine band consists of three-instrument winner (all on the same day!)  at Winfield, KS, Bryan McDowell (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Jarrod Walker (mandolin, guitar, vocals), and two-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Mark Schatz (upright bass, banjo, vocals). Claire has recently remarried and been introduced to her Canadian husband's songwriting Canadian friends. Songwriter that she is, Claire fit right in with the songwriters to our North. The result of combining American and Canadian songwriting is just splendid! The Claire Lynch Band gave us a solid performance of songs by Canadian songwriters from their "North by South" album, which is Grammy-nominated. Here is their selection: Kingdom Come, Molly May (by J.P. Cormier), Milo (by Claire), Cold-Hearted Wind, All the Diamonds in the World (by Bruce Coburn), Empty Train, Black Flowers (by Lynn Miles), and Gone Again.
       Claire Lynch asked the previous performers back out on stage, where they performed together. It doesn't get any better than that! We heard I've Been All Around This World, Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad, and an encore with audience participation (we were just waiting for the chance!) on the old familiar song called Goodnight Irene. I am still blown away by all that talent right there on the stage of the beautiful City Winery in my own hometown, Nashville, Tennessee.
For more information:
Claire Lynch Band  
Ickes and Hensley
Molly Tuttle
City Winery Nashville   Just Google the Winery     


  1. Thank you for posting this Betty! And thanks for coming to the show. It meant a lot. -Claire Lynch

    1. It is always a pleasure to write about such fine artists!