The first time I saw Sierra Hull, I was struck by her stage presence at the tender age of 15 yo. She was clearly the band leader of Highway 111 and presented as if she'd been on stage for 20+ years. This young woman stood up proud in comparison to many a seasoned talent. Now just shy of 20, Sierra releases her second CD project. Daybreak is a mature project from a mature woman whose talent has grown vastly since her debut project Secrets.
Sierra's debut CD, Secrets, showcased a budding young bluegrass artist with a big talent. With the release of Daybreak three years of maturity, growth and experience shine through. She is a serious artist who co-produced this project with Barry Bales. Her hands on approach and attention to detail adds her mark of distinction to the project.
Often compared to Alison Krauss' vocal prowess, Sierra's singing has a clear crystalline vocal clarity of its own. The strength of her talent is not only in her fiery dexterity on mandolin and command over her vocal range, but also in her attention to every detail necessary to produce a project that represents the professional that she is. Daybreak reflects the musical growth Sierra has experienced through her studies at Berklee School of Music in Boston.
Sierra flexes her song writing muscles with the writing six of the cuts on Daybreak. The other six cuts are carefully chosen to fit Sierra style. The title song holds the tenth slot on the project, it is a beautifully sweet tune written by Sierra. A complex song that leaves you wondering weather it is a love song or a prayer. The opening and the ending songs are ones penned by Kevin McClung. Both selection are perfect for Sierra's angelic vocals. Easy Come, Easy Go opens with the line,"I am not a child any more" and with a theme of accepting change. A collection of top musicians support Sierra on this cut. Wouldn't Matter to Me features Sierra's band and thematically is about accepting the change that comes with the loss of a relationship.
Bombshell, written by Sierra, features her clean crisp hard driving mandolin. I love the way Stuart Duncan's fiddle interplays with Sierra's mando on this instrumental. Sierra does a great job with her first swing number, Best Buy. It's fun and upbeat! The gospel selection, The Land of Living, in true tradition, has Sierra's vocals blended in harmony with support from Barry Bales, Shawn Lane and Ronnie Bowman. It's subtle, soft and sweet, and very well done.
On this project, you will enjoy a mix of hard driving bluegrass, a little gospel and swing and a good smattering of progressive acoustic sounds. The project clearly is a showcase of Sierra's broad talent. No longer a prodigy, but as the words of the opening song say – she's not a child anymore!
|Released:||2011 Rounder Records|
|Produced by:||Barry Bales and Sierra Hull|
|Engineered:||Brandon Bell and Brent Truitt|
|Mastered and Mixed:||Brandon Bell|
|Record Label:||Rounder Records, Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group, Inc.|
|Easy Come, Easy Go||(Kevin McClung – Moutain William Music, BMI)|
|Don't Pick Me Up||(John Pennell – Solar Grass Music, BMI)|
|All Because of You||(Sierra Hull – Tugboat Sis Music, ASCAP)|
|Bombshell||(Sierra Hull – Tugboat Sis Music, ASCAP)|
|Best Buy||(Sierra Hull – Tugboat Sis Music, ASCAP)|
|I'll Always be Waiting for You||(Shawn Lane – Cat Town Music, BMI; Gerald Ellenburg – Wadakoe Publishing, BMI)|
|The Land of the Living||(Mary Ann Ballard – Word Music, LLC c/o Warner Chappell Music, Inc., ASCAP)|
|What do you Say?||(Sierra Hull – Tugboat Sis Music, ASCAP)|
|Tell Me Tomorrow||(Sierra & Stacy Hull – Tugboat Sis Music, ASCAP)|
|Daybreak||(Sierra Hull – Tugboat Sis Music, ASCAP)|
|Chasin' Skies||(Sierra Hull – Tugboat Sis Music, ASCAP)|
|Wouldn't Matter to Me||(Kevin McClung – Mountain William Music, BMI)|
This complimentary CD was sent to me for review by Rounder Records.