Black River - Sierra Hull
Something a little special today from our LCM featured artist Nashville based Sierra Hull. She has been recognised as a virtuoso mandolin-player since the age of eleven when she made her Grand Ole Opry debut, signing with Rounder Records two years later and astonishing audiences and fellow musicians alike in the years since. Now a seasoned touring musician nearing her mid-20s, Sierra has delivered her most inspired, accomplished, and mature recorded work to date; no small feat. ‘Weighted Mind’ - nominated for 'Best Folk Album' in the 2017 GRAMMYs is a landmark achievement, not just in Sierra Hull's career, but in the world of folk-pop, bluegrass, and acoustic music overall. Our #TrackOfTheDay is taken from the new album, the beautiful 'Black River'. Any song which features Alison Krauss, Rhiannon Giddens, Abigail Washburn, & Béla Fleck is going to be brilliant. “A thousand years is but a day, and maybe in a thousand years, I’ll find my way.”
With instrumentation comprised largely of mandolin, bass, and vocals, this is genre-transcending music at its best, with production by Béla Fleck and special harmony vocal guests Alison Krauss, Abigail Washburn, and Rhiannon Giddens adding to the wonderful luster. Hull speaks eloquently, in her challenging and sensitive originals, her heartfelt vocals, and once again breaks new ground on the mandolin. Béla Fleck special guests on banjo on two tracks and duo partner, Ethan Jodziewicz, not only anchors the record on bass, but introduces us to a major new instrumental voice.
Though she is best known for her work as a mandolin player, on these songs, Sierra reveals her abundant gifts as a composer and lyricist. Themes of loss and restoration run through the album. Veteran music scribe and fellow musician Peter Cooper writes, “Sierra's bluegrass roots inform and inspire this soundscape, but bluegrass does not define or limit 'Weighted Mind'. This is not bluegrass music, or chamber music, or pop music. This is original music, from a virtuoso who tells the truth and speaks from herself.”
Sierra has earned the admiration of her peers and the press alike: The Bluegrass Situation dubbed her a “mandolin-playing wonder,” and Music City Roots praised her “uncommon maturity—musical and personal,” and noted “one might say she embodies the perfect balance of humility and capability.” The New York Times lauded her as a “prodigious talent,” and for eight consecutive years, the International Bluegrass Music Association has nominated her for Best Mandolin Player. Her friend and mentor Alison Krauss proclaimed, “Sierra is a remarkably talented, beautiful human being. Success could not come to a more worthy person.” Béla Fleck concurs: “Sierra and Ethan proved themselves to be powerful artists, with extremely high standards. I am so glad to have ended up being a part of this project.”