Sierra Hull jams out on VPAC stage as part of Underground Sound on Nov. 4
Folk-inspired duo Dead Horses to open
Bluegrass singer and mandolinist Sierra Hull might be beautifully out of place, but each morning that comes, she’s not afraid to be herself. After making her Grand Ole Opry debut at age 10, the virtuoso mandolinist played Carnegie Hall at the age of 12 before landing a record deal one year later. Now 30, Hull is continuing to find her way.
While bluegrass is at the core of Hull’s music, she also moves past the genre into a realm of her own.
“The moment you start to be yourself, there’s an honesty about that that people connect with,” Hull said.
Sierra Hull performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Vilar Performing Arts Center as part of the Underground Sound series. Milwaukee-based Dead Horses, a folk-inspired duo, will open the show. Tickets are $32 or part of the Underground Sound series pass.
Hull first began playing the mandolin when she was 8 years old in her native state of Tennessee, where her parents immersed her in bluegrass music. She became a well-known singer and mandolin player across the country as a teen, performing at the White House, Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
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In 2009, she started at the Berklee College of Music when she was named a President Scholar and the first bluegrass musician to win the prestigious award. Around the same time, she garnered the first of many nominations for Mandolin Player of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards before winning the award in 2016, the first woman to win the achievement. After a near-decade of nominations, she went on to claim the title of Mandolin Player of the Year three years in a row, from 2016 to 2018. Hull has also been nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Folk Album (“Weighted Mind”) and Best American Roots Song (“Ceiling To The Floor”).
This show is for you if you also like Chris Thile, Brandy Clark, Sam Bush, Abigail Washburn, Bela Fleck or The Wailin’ Jennys.
Over the years, Hull has maintained a rigorous touring schedule and has made occasional guest appearances with such icons as the Indigo Girls, Garth Brooks and Gillian Welch.
Fleck, a banjo legend who produced “Weighted Mind,” describes her as “living in the border area where new ideas mix to create hybrids and sometimes brand-new directions.”
Hull has released five albums to date, most recently the EP “Weighted Mind” in 2021 and “25 Trips” in 2020, and her future creative path continues to shine before her.
About Dead Horses
Dead Horses isn’t a band in the conventional sense, rather it’s an intimate, folk-inspired conversation between two close friends. At its core, Dead Horses is guitarist-singer Sarah Vos and bassist Daniel Wolff.
The Milwaukee-based pair, along with backup musicians, together weave a vibrant patchwork of classic and contemporary influences that span trad roots, indie-folk and other experimental musical idioms. To date, Dead Horses has released three studio albums, an Audiotree Live Session, three singles and a two-song EP. Named an Artist You Should Know by Rolling Stone, Dead Horses has received profiles from Billboard to Noisey and have toured extensively, including appearances at Red Rocks Amphitheater and an invitation to open for legendary UK rockers The Who.
What: Sierra Hull with Special Guest Dead Horses
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
Cost: $32 or part of the Underground Sound series passes
More information: Visit VilarPAC.org/sierra-hull-and-dead-horses