When we think of music prodigies what immediately comes to mind? I think Mozart or Yo-Yo Ma. In the bluegrass world 19 year old mandolin/vocalist Sierra Hull is one of the newest musical child prodigies. She started playing the mandolin by age 8 and hit the festival circuit where she became nationally known by her inventive picking techniques. By age 11 she was personally invited by Alison Krauss to perform at the Grand Ole Opry and then at the ripe age of 12 she was being pursued by Rounder Records for a label deal. This spring she will be graduating from the Berklee College of Music. Hull is one of the first bluegrass musicians to be awarded the Presidential scholarship worthy of $175,000. During her time at Berklee she managed to record an album called “Daybreak” that is available at your favorite retailer today.
Daybreak is Sierra’s sophomore effort and it is already starting to move beyond traditional bluegrass outlets. Her first single/video “Easy Come, Easy Go,” will be premiering on CMT this week. Hull’s introspective lyrics on this song appeal to country fans with nod to love lost, “I can look back on our story, but that chapter is closed.” The video shows Hull moving on from her childhood becoming a grown woman, where she sings “I’m not a child anymore.” Other tracks that stand out are the instrumental “Bombshell,” where Hull quickly strums her mandolin with such control it feels effortless. Amazingly for this 19 year old she wrote 7 out of the 12 tracks on her album. Her album varies from straight ahead spirited bluegrass, soulful gospel and pop ballads. Her voice and harmonies with her band are extraordinary and she is able to look at all her subject matter in a very mature way. It does not seem that traditional boundaries like genre will fence in Sierra Hull. She will appeal to music fans everywhere looking for exceptional musicianship, soulful singing, and lyrics they can relate to.