Sierra Hull

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A child prodigy by any definition, Sierra Hull is a multi-talented bluegrass instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter who recorded her first record at the age of 11. She has brought home multiple International Bluegrass Music Awards, and her star-studded 2017 LP Weighted Mind earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Folk Album.
Sierra Hull was born in 1991 and began playing mandolin when she was eight after being given the instrument as a gift from her grandmother. A year later, she started playing guitar as well. Born and raised in the small rural community of Byrdstown, Tennessee, Hull was soon playing jam sessions with other musicians in her family, and by 2001, she was entering local talent contests. Befriended and mentored by Alison Krauss, herself a child prodigy on the fiddle, Hull was soon astounding and delighting audiences on the bluegrass festival circuit with her inventive and fluid playing style. After self-releasing a CD, Angel Mountain, in 2002, Hull signed with Rounder Records when she was only 13, and the label wisely chose to let her develop at her own pace. A year later, she had begun to sing on-stage as well, and her voice featured the same sort of refreshing clarity as her mandolin playing. She continued touring with her band, Sierra Hull & Highway 111, which included her brother Cody Hull on guitar, Cory Walker on banjo and Dobro, and John Fox on bass. In 2008, Hull saw Rounder issue her first album for the label, Secrets, which was co-produced by Krauss and Ron Block. As she matured, Hull put greater focus on her songwriting, and authored seven of the 12 songs on her 2011 sophomore release, Daybreak. In the next several years, she appeared as a guest artist on albums by Rhonda Vincent, Mac Wiseman, and Brandon Heath, while she contributed duet vocals on “Love Song,” a track on the debut album from the group Big Virginia Sky. Hull’s third solo album, Weighted Mind, produced by Béla Fleck and featuring guest appearances from Alison Krauss, Ethan Jodziewicz, Abigail Washburn, and Rhiannon Giddens, was released in late January 2016. The album was well-received, and was nominated for a Grammy Award as well as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Album of the Year prize. The IBMA named Hull Mandolin Player of the Year in 2016, and she received the honor again in 2017 and 2018. Co-produced by Hull and Shani Gandhi (the Mountain Goats, Sara Watkins, Dwight Yoakam), 2020′s 25 Trips continued to push the boundaries of bluegrass and folk and featured a host of collaborators, including Viktor Krauss, Molly Tuttle, Mindy Smith, and multi-instrumentalist husband Justin Moses. ~ Steve Leggett