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Thread: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

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    Registered User Second Cousin Curly's Avatar
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    Default Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Just posted the first of a series of profiles of Sierra Hull on www.secondcousincurly.com. Hard to believe that, though only 21, Hull is already a decade into her performing career. The first short video portrait featured in this post is mostly a look back at Hull's cultural background. In the weeks to come, we explore her approach to music and her technique. In my book Hull still has few peers when it comes to tone and technique.

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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Cousin Curly View Post
    Just posted the first of a series of profiles of Sierra Hull on www.secondcousincurly.com. Hard to believe that, though only 21, Hull is already a decade into her performing career. The first short video portrait featured in this post is mostly a look back at Hull's cultural background. In the weeks to come, we explore her approach to music and her technique. In my book Hull still has few peers when it comes to tone and technique.
    Hey, Thanks for posting that! I can't wait to see it and the others coming. I'm a big Seirra Hull Fan - seen her 3 or 4 times.
    Love her writing, playing, and the rest of her bands pretty good too!

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    Registered User Second Cousin Curly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Thanks, kaybone! Good news for Hull fans: A second profile of Sierra just went live on www.secondcousincurly.com. In this installment, Hull addresses a fundamental question: how much should we think about what we’re playing? Hope you enjoy it!

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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Thanx for posting these! It's good to hear from her own mouth what she feels when she plays and her background.

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    Registered User Second Cousin Curly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Thanks for your support, Mick. Got one more Sierra Hull video up my sleeve. Quite detailed technical insights in this one. Stay tuned...-- Curly

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    Registered User Jim Ferguson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    SCC.......great video. She is a real gem............what a talent & such humility & passion for her music. Thanks for posting.
    Peace,
    Jim Ferguson

    Kentucky KM1000

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    Registered User Don Grieser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    I just saw Sierra Hull at the Pagosa Springs Folk & Bluegrass festival and I was very impressed. She has a very captivating stage presence (genuine) and her playing, while more notey than I'd normally enjoy (give me Monroe style and I'll be happy), was very tasteful.

    There's a depth to her playing that I wasn't expecting. Not knowing much about her, I guess I had lumped her in with all the young Thile-alikes so I was expecting a more cerebral technique-oriented music, but there's a huge dose of heart and lots of joy in her music. She seems to delight in the music that comes out of her. And anyone who can rip up Old Dangerfield on an octave mandolin sure has my full attention. Anyway, cudos to Sierra and her band for a wonderful entertaining show of great music--the highlight of the whole festival for me.

    And thanks for the pieces you posted on Sierra, SCC. I just watched them and it confirms what I experienced watching her play this weekend. Delightful. I wish her all success.
    the billyhawks http://thebillyhawks.bandcamp.com

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    From Don Greiser - "....while more notey .....".I 'm a great admirer of Sierra's playing,but,if she has a weakness,it's for 'over-egging the cake' (musically speaking).She has a tendency to bury the melody in a pile of notes that needn't be there(IMHO),a bit 'less is more' would be fine.Her technical ability is simply stunning however.She has a super smooth style that flows effortlessly & for me it's a joy to listen to - but let's have more melody & less notes. However,Sierra isn't the only player with this tendency to overplay tunes,& in picking along with tunes & trying to improvise a break,i've found myself doing it all too often (not that i'm as good as the players i'm thinking of).That's when i take a step back & 'simplify' what i've just done,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Interesting commentary. Sierra is great, no denying it, and she has worked real hard to get there. A quote from Mr. Bill comes to mind, from the interview he did for Grisman's MWN back in 1978 or so. Grisman asked about 'hot' mandolin styles. And Bill said something like 'Bluegrass has its hot side, but don't let it override the music. Just covering up one note with another, TANPON." The landscape was surely different back then, the 'hot' guys were Sam, Dawg, a few others. But since then, 'hot' has taken on a whole new meaning, with many more devotees, all in a brave new world.

    Somehow, I think Bill would be behind Sierra "110%, boy!"

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    Registered User Don Grieser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Sierra may play a lot of notes, but IMHO she says something with those notes. It just wasn't just spewing out a bunch of notes that said "look at me, ain't I something?" like a lot of young players who have figured out pyrotechnical licks and runs. There's a maturity beyond her years in her playing, and I'm looking forward to seeing her develop her musical style. Hey, if she reached a Monroe style player like me, she must be doing something right!

    She can really sing too and she's got a great band with her.
    the billyhawks http://thebillyhawks.bandcamp.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
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    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    She did a nice set at the festival up here a few years ago when Clay Hess was in the band. He and I were sitting at the performers table having a long chat about instruments and the like when she joined us. She's just a tiny little thing, but what she wanted to know is, how far away was the West Edmonton Mall (a well known shopping site), still teenager at heart! Wonderful natural player.
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    I agree Don - I think that as her playing (& herself as a person) matures,we'll see a different Sierra Hull emerge. She is a natural player as Mike says, & at such a young age,she can only get better & learn to use her incredible talent even more.
    To take up Don's other point as well,her singing. I think her voice too will strengthen as she gets older.She is still a young woman &
    i think her voice will mature & become stronger as she gets older.For now,she's still a bit too much Alison Krauss sounding for me,ok if you like AK's vocal texture,i don't (not much anyway),
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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    Registered User Duff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    For anybody that has seen her live recently what type of mandolin is she playing at the moment?
    Gibson F-5G
    Kentucky KM-505
    Kentucky KM-855 (sold)

    You can watch a video clip of my bluegrass band Copperwood here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReL1v...eature=related

    Or find out more about Copperwood here
    http://www.lemonrock.com/copperwoodbluegrassband

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    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    double post....sorry
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sierra Hull and Eva Holbrook.jpg 
Views:	129 
Size:	111.9 KB 
ID:	87859  

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    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sierra Hull and Eva Holbrook.jpg 
Views:	129 
Size:	111.9 KB 
ID:	87859 Duff, Looks like Webers are Sierra's and Eva's axes of choice.

    F-style for Bluegrass and A-style for....... hmmmm.... Eva's music...

    Picture posted on SHEL's facebook page. Pagosa Springs Folk & Bluegrass festival.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    In the most recent pic.i've seen of Sierra playing Bluegrass on stage,she was playing a Gibson F5. She has used a custom built Weber Fern in the past. Re.Eva Holbrook's Mandolin,that's a Weber "Beartooth" "A" style with 'f holes'. Mine was an oval hole & the loudest mandolin i've heard to date. It could take plaster off the walls, & i only parted with it because the neck warped,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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    bird and mando geek Rob Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    For anybody that has seen her live recently what type of mandolin is she playing at the moment?
    I believe she now plays a Gibson Master Model.

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    Registered User Don Grieser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    That's her octave in the photo from Pagosa.
    the billyhawks http://thebillyhawks.bandcamp.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://www.HillbillyChamberMusic.com

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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Those are two fine ladies with two fine Webers!

    And, let's not forget Sierra's song writing ability in addition to her very clean mando playing. "Daybreak" and "Best Buy" are two very well crafted songs!

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    Registered User Duff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Very cool picture where I live you would be hard pushed to find a picture with one lady and a mandolin

    Looks like Webers and Gibsons, depending on when you look.
    Gibson F-5G
    Kentucky KM-505
    Kentucky KM-855 (sold)

    You can watch a video clip of my bluegrass band Copperwood here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReL1v...eature=related

    Or find out more about Copperwood here
    http://www.lemonrock.com/copperwoodbluegrassband

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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    Sierra may play a lot of notes, but IMHO she says something with those notes. It just wasn't just spewing out a bunch of notes that said "look at me, ain't I something?" like a lot of young players who have figured out pyrotechnical licks and runs. There's a maturity beyond her years in her playing, and I'm looking forward to seeing her develop her musical style. Hey, if she reached a Monroe style player like me, she must be doing something right!

    She can really sing too and she's got a great band with her.

    Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner! One of the reasons Sierra is not just a solid player but an outstanding one (IMHO) is she plays for the song. Whatever the song calls for, that's what she plays. If that is slow to moderate, tasteful and soulful, she plays it that way. If it's mowing them down with 180-200 bpm she can do that with the best of them. She's a complete player...something I'm sure everyone here is striving hard to be. Including me.


    Tom

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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Ivan has said most of the things that I was going to say...I called a local bluegrass playing station early this morning and requested a Serra Hull song, they played one that was, I think, "don`t pick me up so you can just knock me down" or something like that....I have a real nice stereo system here and I couldn`t understand most of what she was singing mainly because the banjo never let up, always playing as loud as if he was taking a break,,,I know and understand that she may not not any say so with the mixing of her recordings and it may not be her fault and what really gets me is that is what the public is accepting and calling bluegrass....NO, I don`t think Mr. Bill would enjoy what she is doing not by a long shot, just my opinion Alan and you know I usually respect your opinions very much....Maybe I am just too old fashion and like to hear the instruments accompany the singers and not the other way around....

    For her sake I hope the sound people at her festivals treat her better than the ones in the studio....

    Willie

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    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Cousin Curly View Post
    Thanks, kaybone! Good news for Hull fans: A second profile of Sierra just went live on www.secondcousincurly.com. In this installment, Hull addresses a fundamental question: how much should we think about what we’re playing? Hope you enjoy it!
    It's a weird deal: I'll be fooling around on my mandolin in the middle of a group of people and will be engaged with them is conversation and I realize: I am now playing almost sub-consciously and my playing has actually improved! Then, I return my focus to my playing and there's an immediate decrease in proficiency.

    The quandary: how to emulate the playing you do without thinking while you are playing with focus?

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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    Great interviews. I like it when I find out pro musicians are really human! Gives me more confidence in my own playing. Love her analogy about learning to speak and learning music. When we speak we don't think about the letters in the words, we just speak. Music is that way. I only think about the notes when I'm reading or writing.

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    Registered User Second Cousin Curly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sierra Hull's Busy Decade

    I am really enjoying the conversation that's developed on this thread. Here's a new Sierra video that should really hit the spot with Mando Café regulars, as it explicitly addresses her technique. Enjoy!



    P.S.-- If you have trouble getting the video to play smoothly, try viewing it on my channel on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/secondcousincurly
    Last edited by Second Cousin Curly; Jul-27-2012 at 2:15pm.

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