Sierra Hull’s Trio Is A Hit
Sierra Hull introduced her newest music project “Weighted Mind” February 11, 2016, at the newly renovated Lyric Theater in Downtown Stuart. She was joined onstage by Ethan Jodziewicz (double bass) and Justin Moses (banjo, dobro and mandolin). Ms. Hull easily lived up to her widespread acclaim as a mandolin virtuoso while her voice was both expressive and soothing. Although it had been five years since her last musical release it was obvious she has been working very diligently continuing to master her craft and expand into the landscape of songwriter and lyricist. While the roots of bluegrass could be found interspersed throughout her presentation it seems her music has moved into another realm where it intersects with a variety of styles.
The trio performed most, if not all, of the offerings on Weighted Mind. She told the audience the album had been a couple years in the making and lyrics for several songs referenced the growth pangs associated with travel from teen years to full adulthood, not to mention living up to lofty expectations coming from her early success. It seemed as though the age of twenty-two must have been especially rough for the now twenty-four year old. Both “Stranded” and “The In-Between” describe the turmoil of being twenty-two. Other lyrics also revealed doubts and insecurity (“Compass” and “Lullaby”). Perhaps the most revealing song was her first encore offering which she shared with the audience as being written on a particularly vulnerable evening even though the words were positive and future-looking.
Musically the trio was inspiring and complex. Ms. Hull lived up to her reputation and training on both the mandolin and mandola. Mr. Jodziewicz excelled on the double bass, bowing the strings as much as plucking. Mr. Moses’ banjo style was reminiscent of Allison Brown and he played mandolin toe to toe with Ms. Hull. His dobro work was just as enjoyable. All in all, a wonderful show in a wonderful setting, especially if you were lucky enough to be front and center!
Note: Our guest Blog writer, Randall Cameron, who critiqued Sierra’s Trio, is a Research Biologist for the USDA, Agricultural Research Service. He has been “playing” the banjo, for better or worse, a total of about three and a half years interspersed over a much longer period of time