Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Super Moon

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Super Moon

Article excerpt

On her latest outing, When You're Ready, Molly Tuttle's guitar plays a secondary role to the songs, but her six-string is front and center on "Super Moon," a bright, dropped-D instrumental from her previous release, 2017's Rise. Tuttle's great facility and her inventiveness within the bluegrass tradition are readily apparent on this flatpicking tour de force.

The inspiration to compose "Super Moon" struck Tuttle several winters ago, when she was touring in Sweden with the old-time string band the Goodbye Girls, whose repertoire includes pieces from both the North American and Swedish folk traditions. "I think playing so many of those different fiddle tunes inspired this song, which doesn't really sound like any one specific genre," Tuttle says.

When she returned to the United States, Tuttle recorded "Super Moon" live in the studio with drummer Jano Rix; cellist Nathaniel Smith and flutist Anh Phung later added supporting parts. This process allowed a good amount of room for improvisation. "I had a general roadmap, but once I got in the studio with Jano, we just played off of each other," says Tuttle. "We had never played the tune together before recording it, and I think that spontaneous energy comes through."

Though "Super Moon" might look complicated in notation, its structure is fairly simple, with three main 16-bar (accounting for repeats) themes: one based on an A7 chord (first heard in bars 1-10), another that moves to D (bars 11-18), followed by one that returns to A7 (bars 19-34). …

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