One of bluegrass music’s youngest stars, Sierra Hull, will begin the Augusta area’s country music offerings in 2017 with a return visit to the Imperial Theater. And this time, the vocalist and mandolin player returns to perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, as a Grammy-nominated artist.
Her latest album, Weighted Mind, produced by legendary mandolin player Béla Fleck, received a Grammy nomination in December for Best Folk Album. The 59th annual Grammy Awards ceremony will air on Feb. 12 on the CBS-TV network broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Hull again is performing for the Morris Museum of Art’s Budweiser True Music Southern Song &Soul series. Tickets are $28, $23 and $15 purchased at the Imperial Theatre box office, 745 Broad St., or by calling (706) 722-8341 or online at imperialtheatre.com.
Area bluegrass fans got a chance to see Hull in her first local appearance when she opened for Blue Highway at the Imperial in November 2013.
Hull’s online site, sierrahull.com, shows she is hitting the ground running in 2017 with concerts scheduled in January alone in Raleigh and Tryon, N.C.; York, S.C.; New York City (with the bands of Del McCoury and Mark O’Connor; Clearwater and Stuart, Fla.; and Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio.
Her posted schedule also reveals a planned return to the Newberry (S.C.) Opera House at 8 p.m. Friday, April 21. Tickets at $40, $35 and $30 can be bought for that show at newberryoperahouse.com.
Since her last appearance in Augusta, Hull has continued to rack up numerous awards and accomplishments including last September co-hosting the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards with Alison Krauss’ Union Station band guitarist Dan Tyminski.
At the same show she became the first woman to take home the IBMA’s Mandolin Player of the Year honor. She beat out 11-time winner Adam Steffey and followed other past winners Jesse Brock, Chris Thile, Ronnie McCoury and Sam Bush.
It was Grand Ole Opry member Krauss who invited the Byrdstown, Tenn., musician to be an Opry show guest artist when she only was 11 years old.
Rounder Records’ officials also wisely spotted Hull’s talents and signed her to the label at the age of 13 and released her debut album, Secrets, in 2008 when she was 16.
She went on to perform at The White House, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and other worldwide venues and became the first bluegrass musician to receive a presidential scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Typical of the accolades she receives is that of reviewer Jeff McMahon writing in 2014 on the web site twangville.com, “Out in the courtyard at the Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts on a summer evening, I caught one of the most accomplished mandolin players in bluegrass. Sierra Hull may only be 22, but she’s got a tight band, can pick her mandolin, and has quite the voice to go along with it.
“Right from the start, Sierra wasted no time ripping into a couple of instrumentals. Her picking was rhythmical and her the solos were creative.”
Hull wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12 songs on her CD Weighted Mind.
She notes on her web site, “The moment you start to be yourself, there’s an honesty about that, that people connect with. This album feels like the story of my early 20s; of that searching. Now, it feels like everything worked out the way it was supposed to.”