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Prodigious Bluegrass Mandolin
- Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014
BOX OFFICE 612-332-5299
Lonnie Knight will be performing an opening set for this show
Sierra Hull – vocals, mandolin
Jacob Eller – bass
Jake Stargel – guitar
Justin Moses – fiddle, banjo and dobro
Cory Walker – banjo
Bryan McDowell – fiddle
About Sierra Hull
Sierra Hull, the singer and mandolinist and former child prodigy who signed a record contract at age 13, and distinguished herself by becoming the first bluegrass musician to receive a Presidential Scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music, released her first new album in five years,Weighted Mind, in early 2016.
15-time Grammy winner Béla Fleck produced the recording, which features eleven compelling new compositions written or co-written by Hull, and one traditional tune for which she and Fleck provided a new arrangement. While Hull’s ethereal voice and fluid playing take center stage here, she receives ample support from bass marvel Ethan Jodziewicz. Béla Fleck’s banjo adorns the elegant “Queen of Hearts/Royal Tea,” and Alison Krauss, Abigail Washburn, and Rhiannon Giddens add enchanting harmonies.
Though she is best known for her work as a mandolin player, on these songs, Hull reveals her abundant gifts as a composer and lyricist. Themes of loss and restoration run through the album, starting with the muscular opening number, “Stranded,” and continue on the stirring “Compass,” on which she declares, “I’ve thrown away my compass, done with the chart…I’ll just step out, throw my doubt into the sea, for what’s meant to be will be.” The gentle, dissonant title track ponders existential questions, while the haunting “Birthday” and “Fallen Man” offer somber reflections on strained relationships and impossible choices. The album closes on an optimistic note, with the sweetly assertive “I’ll Be Fine,” and the uplifting, philosophical closer, “Black River.” Fleck, Giddens, Krauss, and Washburn all guest on this track, on which Hull reflects, “A thousand years is but a day, and maybe in a thousand years, I’ll find my way.”
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“inventive and fluid playing style… her voice feature[s] the same sort of refreshing clarity as her mandolin playing.” – All Music
“one of the hottest properties in American country music… a sensational mandolin player” – Telegraph
“The Krauss influence is unmistakable… Hull puts her own stamp on that sound with her aggressive mandolin picking and girlish soprano.”
– Washington Post
About Lonnie Knight
Singer-songwriter Lonnie Knight may joke that “Legendary is just another way of saying ‘…been around a long time,’ ” but the lanky Minnesotan is one of those rare musicians who has truly earned the title Legendary. He got his start as a folkie, learning from the likes of Townes Van Zandt. Then he played in some of the Midwest’s seminal rock bands, including Jokers Wild, the Nielsen-White Band and the Hoopsnakes. His recent CDs Better Days (2005) and I Wrote My Name on You (2007) brought him back to his acoustic roots, and with his newest CD So We Jump (2010), his music is inspiring a whole new generation of fans.
Knight has long been known as a stellar guitar player – he’s won several Minnesota Music Awards for best guitarist – and his playing has been likened to Richard Thompson, Patty Larkin, Bert Jansch and Brooks Williams. But his great songwriting also comes to the fore in his recent releases, and his songs reveal a gifted artist getting a whole new creative wind.
He first picked up the guitar at the age of 12, and discovered it was something he was better than most at. He was working as a studio musician at Minneapolis’ Sound 80 Recording Studio and touring nationally on the Bitter End College Coffeehouse circuit when the late producer George Hanson (Leo Kottke, Art Resnick, Robin & Linda Williams) took a liking to his music and produced his first two albums, Family in the Wind and Song for a City Mouse.
In the 1980s, Knight joined up with acclaimed songwriter Mark Henley to form the Knight-Henley Band. They became producers for WrenSong Publishing in Nashville, and that led him to stints playing with Wild Horses and the Nielsen-White Band. The ‘90s saw Knight joining the famed Hoopsnakes, founded by Bruce McCabe. In the latter part of the decade, he signed with Aquarium Records, which released his CD Big Shoes in 1999 and Cain’s Blood in 2001. He moved to Mosquito Shoals Records in 2005, releasing Better Days, followed in 2007 by I Wrote My Name on You, and his latest release So We Jump, released in September 2010. His CDs are available at LonnieKnight.com, CDBaby.com, through Apple I-Tunes and many other physical and virtual locations throughout the world. Lonnie’s early albums Family in the Wind and Song for a City Mouse were recently remastered and released on CD in Asia, and his entire catalog of material with Jokers Wild has been remastered and released on CD and vinyl in Europe.
Currently Lonnie’s schedule includes solo performances, his duo with Reid Papke on bass, his quartet Mosquito Shoals (Reid Papke, Gary Haberman on percussion, featuring vocals from Laura Owen) and monthly shows with The Smokin’ Section. Lonnie toured Japan in 2013, and a second tour is being scheduled for October 2014. If that’s not enough, a new CD is in the works.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“When he sings of ‘major truths in minor keys’… we know not only what he means, but how he feels.”
– critic Scott Alarik