Fresh off an amazing set at Bonnaroo, Molly Tuttle and her band, Golden Highway, are debuting their latest song “San Joaquin.” (listen and watch above) The video was filmed at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios.
Tuttle says of the song, “I’ve always loved singing songs about trains and this one takes place in my home state of California. Ketch and I had the idea for writing ‘San Joaquin’ while looking at a map of different train lines that run through the state. Ketch loves writing geographical songs and I have many fond memories of road trips taken through the Central Valley when I was a kid, so we dreamed up this story of a wild ride down the San Joaquin railway.”
The track is the third unveiled from Tuttle’s new album, City of Gold, which will be released July 21 via Nonesuch Records.
The new album follows Tuttle’s acclaimed 2022 record, Crooked Tree, which won Best Bluegrass Album at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards and also led to a Best New Artist nomination. Produced by Tuttle and Jerry Douglas andrecorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios, City of Gold was inspired by Tuttle’s constant touring with Golden Highway these past few years, during which they have grown together as musicians and performers, cohering as a band. These 13 tracks—mostly written by Tuttle and Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show)—capture the electric energy of band’s live shows by highlighting each members’ musical strengths.
In celebration of the new music, the band will tour through this summer including dates supporting Dave Matthews, Tommy Emmanuel, Greensky Bluegrass, Charley Crockett and Marcus King.
Reflecting on the project, Tuttle shares, “When I was a kid, we took a field trip to Coloma, CA to learn about the gold rush. I’ll never forget the dusty hills and the grizzled old miner who showed us the nugget around his neck. Just like gold fever, music has always captivated me, captured my heart, and driven me to great lengths to explore its depths. On my new album I dug deep as a songwriter (with Ketch Secor) and co-producer (with Jerry Douglas) and surfaced with a record that celebrates the music of my heart, my life, the land where I grew up, and the stories I heard along the way. I made this record with my band Golden Highway after playing over 100 shows across the country last year. On the road and in the studio, we are inspired by artists such as John Hartford, Gillian Welch and Peter Rowan to name a few, whose records are like family albums to us. Just like them, on this album we chart some new territory along some old familiar ground. The songs span from breakdowns to ballads, fairytales and fiddle tunes, from Yosemite up to the Gold Country and out beyond the mountains. That visit to Coloma, site of California’s first gold strike is where I first heard about El Dorado, the city of gold. Playing music can take you to a place that is just as precious. I hope you like this record!”
In addition to Tuttle (vocals, acoustic guitar), Douglas (dobro) and Golden Highway—Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle, harmony vocals), Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Shelby Means (bass, harmony vocals) and Kyle Tuttle (banjo, harmony vocals)—City of Gold also features special guest Dave Matthews on “Yosemite.”