Sierra Hull and her band put an exclamation point on her musical mission statement at yesterday evening’s opening night showcase at The Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park‘s bluegrass event Suwannee Spring Reunion. Hull was scheduled to be part of the canceled 2020 Reunion and now that the world is embracing the return of full-scale festivals it’s clear that she is ready to emerge as a force to be reckoned with on the bluegrass scene.

Her mandolin picking is emotive, lightning-fast, percussive, and serves as a completely perfect canvas to deploy her sweet, engaging vocal talents. Since Hull’s debut at 13 years old, she has been in the spotlight and her poise, crowd skills, and now her playing have been honed to their sharpest edge yet.

Sierra took the stage after a breathless welcome from festival curator Beth Judy and wasted no time winning over the crowd with a trio of tunes, including “Poison” and the instrumental “Over The Mountain” before segueing into “Middle Of The Woods”. The band dove right in, jamming down a setlist full of instrumentals like “Chasin’ Skies”, covers from legends like Del McCoury, and a host of her own insightful, idiosyncratic originals that put an already enthused crowd over the top to ecstatic.

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When it came to closing out a set, Hull showed remarkable confidence in her band’s talents by choosing a pair of instrumentals, “Last Minute” and “Long Way”, to bookend their gorgeous cover of The Impressions classic “People Get Ready”. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Sierra Hull gathered her band around the center stage mic for an old-fashioned Irish jig that quickly dissolved into an unexpected and thoroughly crowd-pleasing upbeat take on the Collective Soul tune “Shine.”

As the last notes rang out Hull got something hard to earn out of the discerning crowd of Suwannee Bluegrass fans: a standing ovation from all corners of the beloved Suwannee Amphitheatre. Her future in the bluegrass world is clearly unlimited and, judging by last night’s performance, Hull has fully transitioned into headliner status. Judge for yourself with clips from the show last night featuring soundboard audio and video from our own Rex-A-Vision.

Sierra Hull – “Poison” > “Over The Mountain” > “Middle Of The Woods” – 3/17/22

Sierra Hull – “Last Minute” > “People Get Ready” (The Impressions” > “Long Way” – 3/17/22

Sierra Hull – “Irish Jig” > “Shine” (Collective Soul) – 3/17/22