The fifth decade of that half-century of music making has been filled with new and ongoing triumphs. The Del McCoury Band has shown unprecedented stability, with but a single change in membership in fifteen years; their namesake earned membership in the cast of the legendary Grand Ole Opry in 2003, and the Band earned their first Best Bluegrass Album Grammy award two years later; they traveled with the groundbreaking post-O Brother “Down From The Mountain” tour, performed and recorded (on his Grammy-winning These Days) with Gill and with country star Dierks Bentley; they’ve made multiple appearances at the spectacular Bonnaroo Music Festival (and will appear there again in 2009) and launched an impressively popular annual New Year’s Eve show at the Ryman Auditorium, where Del first appeared on the Opry with Bill Monroe some 46 years ago. Perhaps most importantly, McCoury took an almost unprecedented step in 2003 when he took control of his own music by creating the McCoury Music label, home to that Grammy-winning album along with a select set of releases by the Del McCoury Band, country icon Merle Haggard and more.
This is where a preternatural talent becomes a natural woman.
This is Sierra Hull’s Weighted Mind. It is nothing like what we thought it would be. It is nothing like what we’ve heard before, from anyone. It is singular and emphatic, harmonious and dissonant. It is the realization of promise, and the affirmation of individuality. It is born of difficulty and indecision, yet it rings with ease, decisiveness, and beauty.
“She plays the mandolin with a degree of refined elegance and freedom that few have achieved,” says Bela Fleck, the genre-leaping banjo master who produced Weighted Mind. “And now her vocals and songwriting have matured to the level of her virtuosity.”
Alison Krauss, who has won more Grammy awards than any female artist in history, says of Hull, “I think she’s endless. I don’t see any boundaries. Talent like hers is so rare, and I don’t think it stops. It’s round.”
Hull came to us as a bluegrass thrush, a teen prodigy. Krauss called her to the Grand Ole Opry stage when Hull was 11-years-old. Two years later, she signed with Rounder Records, and soon became known as a remarkable mandolin player, a tone-true vocalist, and a recording artist of high order. She made two acclaimed albums. She played the White House, and Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, and she became the first bluegrass musician to receive a Presidential Scholarship at the Berklee College of Music.
She was celebrated, yet adrift. Stranded, even.
The Gibson Brothers were voted 2013 Entertainers of the Year at the IBMA World of Bluegrass 24th Annual Awards Show in Raleigh, N.C. for the second year in a row. We also won the Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year (“They Called It Music”) and Eric was named the Songwriter of the Year.
The Gibson Brothers were named the 2012 Entertainer of the Year Award at the 23rd Annual IBMA Awards at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, the first time a brother duet has won this award. The same night we won the “Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year” award for “Singing As We Rise.”
Help My Brother, our tenth album, won the prestigious 2011 IBMA Album of the Year Award.We were named the 2011 IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, the first time a brother duet has won this award. Help My Brother held the #1 position on the Bluegrass Unlimited Album chart for 8 months. It definitely had staying power, with songs charting on the BU Top 30 more than a year after its release.