The Center For The Arts Presents Sierra Hull Opener: Dead Horses
Friday, November 12th 8:00 PM
Sierra Hull’s musical career started early. She was 10 years old at her Grand Ole Opry debut and was called back to the famed stage just a year later to perform with her hero and mentor Alison Krauss. She played Carnegie Hall at 12, and at 13 signed with Rounder Records releasing her debut album, Secrets. She played the Kennedy Center at 16 and the next year became the first bluegrass musician to receive a Presidential Scholarship at the Berklee College of Music. As a 20-year-old, Hull played the White House. On Tuesday, April 14th 2020 you can see her live at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley.
“I created from a more vulnerable, honest place by asking myself what kind of music will I make if I’m not at all concerned with genre,” says Hull. “What do I want to say with my music? What do I want to feel when I stand onstage and sing these songs? I needed to have a deeper connection.”
It’s only a two-hour drive to Nashville from her tiny hometown hamlet of Byrdstown, Tennessee. Hull credits her family for paving the first few miles to Music Row. Her mother, holding her as a toddler, taught her to sing. She ran next door to hear Uncle Junior pick mandolin, and listened intently to the church choir on Sundays. Her Christmas gift- a full-sized fiddle- proved too daunting. While waiting for a smaller replacement, her father showed her some notes on the mandolin. Hull was hooked, soon known as the eight-year-old wowing the locals at bluegrass jams.
She found inspiration in Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, and Sam Bush. And, just as importantly, affirmed her own sense of identity in the album covers of Rhonda Vincent, the queen of bluegrass. She heard the words of her parents, prepping her for life’s big moments yet to come, repeatedly instilling the mantra: Hard work, more than anything, will get you somewhere. It certainly did.
In 2010, Hull captured her first IBMA award for Recorded Event of the Year. She was shedding the prodigy tag, turning virtuoso, and releasing her second album, Daybreak, with seven of her own original compositions. In Byrdstown, she hosted an eponymous annual bluegrass festival.
“There’s a voice in the back of my head telling me to keep working, to keep moving forward,” Hull says. “You have to keep progressing and introducing new things.”
By 2016, Hull had reached a more mature place in her life and in her art. She tapped legendary bluegrass musician Bela Fleck to produce her third album, Weighted Mind. A departure from her opening pair of records that blended progressive elements with traditional structure, Hull let go of whatever preconceptions existed- both hers and those of her audience- and birthed a Grammy-nominated masterpiece.
On Friday, November 12, Sierra Hull will release 25 Trips. Revealing her profound warmth as a storyteller, 25 Trips finds Hull shedding light on the beauty and chaos and sometimes sorrow of growing up and getting older. To that end, the album’s title nods to a particularly momentous year of her life, including her marriage to fellow bluegrass musician Justin Moses and the release of her widely acclaimed album Weighted Mind—a Béla Fleck- produced effort nominated for Best Folk Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
Immediately proving the power of that approach, 25 Trips lures the listener into its unpredictable sonic world on the beguiling opening track “Beautifully Out of Place.” With its shifting tempos and gently tempestuous mood, the song was sparked from words of encouragement spoken by Hull’s husband at a time of self-doubt and confusion. “I remember Justin saying to me, ‘I believe in you, so you’re just going to have to learn to believe in yourself,’” she recalls. “That inspired the first line for me, and the song just wrote itself from there.”
Venue & Tickets
- The Center for the Arts
- 314 W. Main Street
- Grass Valley, CA 95945
- General Admission: $25 Members, $30 Public
- Get Tickets
Opener: 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, the participants are guitarist/singer Sarah Vos and bassist Daniel Wolff. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based pair’s dialogue continues with an eclectic five-song EP, Birds (released February 7), which includes the band’s previously released singles “Family Tapes,” “Mighty Storm,” and “Birds Can Write The Chorus.”
Dead Horses weave together a vibrant patchwork of classic and contemporary influences that span trad roots, indie- folk, and other experimental musical idioms. Through it all, the union of Sarah’s emotive songwriting with Dan’s intrepid bass playing transcends the singer-songwriter-with-backup-musicians paradigm.
To date, Dead Horses has released three studio albums, an Audiotree Live Session, three singles, and a two-song EP. Along the way, the duo has charted on the Americana Top 50 radio charts, accrued over 20 million spins on Spotify, and earned placements on several Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music “Americana” playlists. A Rolling Stone “Artist You Should Know,” 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.
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