A child prodigy by any definition, Sierra Hull was born in 1991 and began playing mandolin when she was eight years old, after being given the instrument as a gift by her grandmother. A year later, she started playing guitar as well. Born and raised in the small rural community of Byrdstown, Tennessee, Hull was soon playing jam sessions with other musicians in her family, and by 2001 she was entering local talent contests. Mentored and befriended by Alison Krauss, herself once a child prodigy on the fiddle, Hull was soon astounding and delighting audiences on the bluegrass festival circuit with her inventive and fluid playing style. After self-releasing a CD, Angel Mountain, in 2002, Hull signed with Rounder Records when she was only 13 years old, and the label wisely chose to let her develop at her own pace. A year later, Hull had begun to sing on-stage as well, and her voice featured the same sort of refreshing clarity as her mandolin playing. Hull continued touring with her band, Sierra Hull & Highway 111, which included her brother Cody Hull on guitar, Cory Walker on banjo and Dobro, and John Fox on bass. In 2008, Hull saw Rounder issue her first album for the label, Secrets, which was co-produced by Krauss and Ron Block. As she matured, Hull put greater focus on her songwriting, and authored seven of the 12 songs on her 2011 sophomore release, Daybreak. In the next several years, Hull appeared as a guest artist on albums by Rhonda Vincent, Mac Wiseman, and Brandon Heath, while she contributed duet vocals on "Love Song," a track on the debut album from the group Big Virginia Sky. Hull's third solo album, Weighted Mind, produced by Béla Fleck and featuring guest appearances from Alison Krauss, Ethan Jodziewicz, Abigail Washburn, and Rhiannon Giddens, was released in late January 2016. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi