Sunday, 9 November, 2008 2:22 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Sierra
by Jim MCGuire
recording artist Sierra Hull.
2008 CMA Close Up News Service
Sierra Hull has played
on the Grand Ole Opry, won instrumental contests, performed at Carnegie
Hall and shared the stage with Sam Bush, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs
and other artists - not bad for a 16-year-old, though those who've
known her for a while aren't surprised at the trajectory of her
Born in Byrdstown, Tenn.,
Hull was 8 when she began picking the mandolin. Two years later,
in 2002, she self-released Angel Mountain and made the first of
many appearances at annual International Bluegrass Music Association
Throughout Secrets, her
Rounder Records debut album, which she co-produced with Ron Block,
Hull builds from a foundation of technique, not to dazzle but to
convey the essence of all 13 songs, two of which she wrote and one
a co-write. She sings in a warm timbre, sweetening the melody with
a honeyed brush. When confronting a lyric that might require more
life experience, Hull applies an innocence that appeals in a more
nostalgic way to the seasoned listener.
Her work on mandolin
and guitar reflects a similar restraint, except in moments when
a few fireworks illuminate. On "Smashville," for instance,
her solo flows gracefully, speeding up over occasional rapids but
more often glistening with a linear beauty and endless inventiveness.
Surrounded on tracks by members of her band and high-profile guests
such as Jerry Douglas, Tony Rice and Stuart Duncan, she already
sounds at home among the giants of her genre.
IN HER OWN WORDS:
CD IN YOUR STEREO
"Through the Window of a Train, by Blue Highway."
PHRASE YOU SAY OVER
AND OVER AGAIN
"You know what I mean?"
"I ate Lucky Charms for breakfast, if that counts."
FAVORITE FOOD WHILE
"Probably chicken, although I will try and eat almost anything."
WHAT YOU HOPE PEOPLE
WILL SAY ABOUT YOU 50 YEARS FROM NOW
"That I made a difference in the music world in some way, that
I was a kind person and that I lived a life pleasing unto God."
"Alison Krauss, Sam Bush and Chris Thile."
FIRST START IN MUSIC
"I started playing mandolin at age 8."
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