Even before releasing her first full-length album, Molly Tuttle made history. She became the first woman to be named IBMA Guitar Player of the Year, a title she’s won twice, in addition to winning Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year, all on the strength of her 2017 EP, RISE. But to focus exclusively on Tuttle as a guitarist would be a mistake. She isn’t interpreting others’ songs. She’s writing and singing her own, and as her debut record When You’re Ready proves, she’s doing it not only with classically trained musicianship, but with an exciting willingness to explore and trust her own wide-ranging artistic instincts.
It’s Thursday in Houston, and Paul Beebe is suiting up to play. Black jacket and pants, skinny black tie, crisp white shirt in place, he’s ready for Beetle, the gig he’s played every Thursday night at the Continental Club for the past 17 years. It’s his fourth show in eight days, and this week, he’s rung up the tally with three different bands at three different clubs, all without ever leaving the city’s inner Loop.
Right now in Houston, a group of kids who might otherwise be skipping school or dodging gangs is excited about class. Today, they aren’t statistics to be shamed or problems to be forgotten. They’re poets. And a Pablo Neruda-quoting, poetry slamming, world-renowned breakdancing social activist is their teacher.
Copyright 2019, Elisabeth Carroll Parks. All rights reserved.