I have been looking forward to seeing Sierra Hull since I saw her last, 10 years ago at the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The first time I met her was in the green room of the Fan Fest for the awards show. I was shooting photos of Ricky Skaggs and over in the corner of the room was this tiny little girl playing the mandolin, attempting to keep up with Ricky, note for note. Apparently she was doing a good job of it because Ricky stopped mid-chorus and walked over to the little girl struck up a conversation. One of those conversations I don’t truly understand, one between two incredibly talented musicians, which usually turns into a musical conversation that I must admit turns me extremely jealous! The two new friends shared a couple of tunes with one another and that seemed to be the end of the situation.
I left the green room to head to stage front, stopping along the way to chat with Del McCoury, which was awesome in itself! But what was in store for the crowd on stage was really the awesome event of the night. Ricky Skaggs started off with his normal hard hitting stuff, but changed gears a bit by telling the crowd he wanted them to meet his new friend, his 12 year old friend, Sierra Hull. Out came the little girl that just a short bit ago was hiding in the corner of the green room! Now on stage with one of bluegrass’ biggest and best! Needless to say, she killed them! I think what amazed the crowd the most was her mandolin skills. But what we all didn’t now at that moment in time is that we were listening to what has become one of the most incredible female voices in bluegrass music today, my opinion of course!
Long story, I know, but one thought was cool enough to share. I’m not sure if this story proves I’m old man that has seen today’s young bluegrass stars grow up, or not. But I like to think it’s a great example of how young people shouldn’t give up on their dreams. I know in the green room that night Sierra knew she had talent, but having talent isn’t enough, she also had determination! I think that’s something we need to share and instill in our children.
Even if you don’t care for bluegrass music like my dear wife, you should really check out Sierra Hull, she truly has the voice of an angel!