Songwriter, singer and mandolin virtuoso Sierra Hull was born in Byrdstown, TN in 1991. Halfway between Nashville and the Smoky Mountains, it was an advantageous place to study bluegrass music, which she decided was her life’s calling at about age eight.
Less than a decade after releasing her debut album on Rounder Records at age 16, Hull was named IBMA Mandolin player of the year two years running, the first woman to win the prize. She also, at age 26, recently married longtime music community friend and collaborator Justin Moses, an in-demand multi-instrumentalist studio and sideman. Hull has even been something of a musical diplomat, tapped for a US State Department American Music Abroad tour that took her to the island state of Micronesia and the occupied Israeli West Bank.
Her most recent album was 2016's Weighted Mind, a hard earned departure from her straight-ahead bluegrass sound. In this hour we talk about working on that project with Bela Fleck producing. But mostly it's a talk about origins and influences and growing up in the Tennessee bluegrass culture.
Also, the curious case of Kurt Bardella. He’s a Washington DC political operative and pundit. You may well have seen him on CNN or MSNBC. And he’s also the creator and sole author of the most read daily morning tip sheet in the country music business. And we’ll hear his take on music and politics from the Country Radio Seminar, which just took place in Nashville.