Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Catching Up with Dave Stewart and Friends at The Roxy

When I got the invite to catch Dave Stewart and Friends at The Roxy on the Sunset Strip for December 8, 2014, I was intrigued as Dave Stewart had a storied career during the 1980's with Annie Lennox in the Eurythmics, and he has been on his own for decades as a successful record producer and writer. Then a strange thing occurred, Molly Tuttle, a recent graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, whom I have been following for over three years as a member of The Tuttles and A.J. Lee, had mentioned on the Tuttle's Facebook page that Molly would be part of Dave Stewart and Friends at The Roxy.

Molly Tuttle is a rising Americana star coming out of the bluegrass world who was recently recognized by the International Music Bluegrass Association with a Momentum award nomination and early last year released her first solo album. She also performs with John Mailander as a duo, and also in a four person all girls band, The Goodby Girls, that has toured Sweden, resulting from friendships at the Berklee College of Music.  Molly Tuttle herself is a great example of a recent influx of Americana greats coming out of the Berklee College of Music such as Sierra Hull and Sarah Jarosz.  And I have had the opportunity to previously see Molly perform at intimate club setting and bluegrass festivals, sharing my pictures and video, and will soon see her perform for the first time with her family band, The Tuttles and AJ Lee at Freight and Salvage.

About a month before, Molly had posted up that she was meeting Dave Stewart for the first time and was getting to play his guitar in his office.  From what I understand, Dave Stewart had stumbled upon Molly Tuttle at one of her performances, and was blown away by her musical talents and vocal abilities, resulting in the Roxy invite and also being taken under his wing as shown on the Dave Stewart management web site.  I had to double check with Molly to be sure she was on the bill, as the Dave Stewart and Friends press release for The Roxy talked only about Hollie Stephenson and his newest project as Stewart and Lindsey with Thomas Lindsey.  The lead photo above is one of Dave Stewart and his daughter Kaya Stewart with Molly Tuttle in the background.  Molly Tuttle and Kaya Stewart were to be surprise guests.

The Roxy evening with Dave Stewart and Friends had an electrifying opening performance by seventeen year old Hollie Stephenson who channels the sound and energy of the late Amy Winehouse and can be seen in my Flickr photo set:

Molly Tuttle soon got her own opportunity to play with Dave Stewart, and then a solo performance before an audience that appeared to be captured by surprise by Molly's strong instrumental skills  developed from a decade of performing with the Tuttles and A.J. Lee, and vocals that can remind one of early Joni Mitchell depending upon what she was signing.  The following Flickr picture set focuses on Molly Tuttle's Roxy performance, including playing the banjo on a performance by Stewart and Lindsey and later doing backup singing for Kaya Stewart.

One of the songs that Molly performed solo wowing the audience at The Roxy was White Freightliner Blues, and below is a version that was recorded in Dave Stewart's office that can be found on YouTube

Kaya Stewart as a 14 year old has a great stage presence and will remind one of the teenage version of  Miley Cyrus. She has major potential and one can see her musical growth over the last three years from videos posted on YouTube. She can channel Annie Lennox in tandem with Dave Stewart. Watch out for her. Here is my Flickr photo set of Kaya Stewart followed by a YouTube video from her channeling the Beatles that demonstrates her stage presence and current look.:

A most interesting project of Dave Stewart is teaming up with Thomas Lindsey whom Dave Stewart discovered in Louisiana with  rock and blues infused music, tremendous on stage energy, and soon to have an album release.  The picture set is below, followed by actual official video footage just uploaded on YouTube from that evening at The Roxy that shows off Thomas Lindsey Louisiana inflected vocals .

Finally here is a picture set focusing on the most excellent Dave Stewart, still going strong in his 60's, and we are all blessed by his many passion projects, and I can't wait to purchase his upcoming Stewart and Lindsey CD and to see his potential influence on Molly Tuttle's solo career.