Kayla Tuttle, Paducah, Ky., makes up a one-woman band known as Leight July.
Tuttle said her set includes a drum, tambourine, harmonica, guitar and a piano.
The story behind her stage name traces back to an artist named Shakey Graves, whom she was introduced to in high school. The very first song she heard by the artist was called Late July–and Tuttle was born in late July.
Graves has a one-man band as well, and Tuttle gained much of her inspiration from him. She has been in touch with him personally, adopting the nickname Leight July. She said she changed the spelling of the first word to make it sound a bit more like a name, and to help it stand out.
Tuttle began learning the piano at age 6, and taught herself how to play the guitar later on. She also attended Harmony Road Music School in Paducah and Murray State University.
With her mother as the manager, and her dad as the roadie, Tuttle has a family of support for her career.
Her music is a mixture of everything. She describes it as Americana, with some blues and folk music. She has about 30 original songs, and incorporates about five to each set. She plays covers from Michael Jackson to Smokey Robinson–and always puts her own spin on the performance.
She said she started performing at bars two years ago, and now plays all over Southern Illinois. She normally performs in Nashville, Tenn. on Wednesdays at The George Jones. She is temporarily performing at Bailey’s instead until March.
Some major upcoming events include a performance in De Moines, Iowa in March. She will also be performing at Panama City Beach in September. She will be performing at Silent Brigade Distillery in Paducah with Relative Noise this Friday from 8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.