w/ The Coteries
Featured Artist #1
Sierra Hull, the singer and mandolinist and former child prodigy who signed with Rounder at age 13, and distinguished herself by becoming the first bluegrass musician to receive a Presidential Scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music, has announced the release of her first new album in five years. Weighted Mind will be released on January 29, 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."
Featured Artist #2
Born out of the midst of an 11,000 mile North American road trip, The Coteries bring you Folk Rock music steeped in their travels and the back roads of the American countryside. Just two summers ago the female-fronted trio found their footing behind the wheel of their old VW Bus, Trusty Rusty. Aside for some freezing August nights in the mountains of Wyoming and Montana, it was the best decision of their lives. Since their return, they've played over 200 shows in their inaugural year bolstering their sound with acoustic guitars, mandolin, a stomp box, and harmonicas. They've gone from farmer's markets and corners of bars to playing major festivals like Divide Music Festival and Harmonium Music Fest performing alongside Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Blondie, Cold War Kids, The Fray and Parsonsfield. With a recent endorsement from GoWesty (joining the ranks of artists like Gregory Alan Isakov) they've become traveling ambassadors as they continue their momentum into 2017 with a recent relocation to Fort Collins, Colorado. On July 29th, 2016 they released their debut EP, Reason in the Road, which is a reflection of all they have experienced discovering themselves and the American countryside.