At 24, Sierra Hull is already a seasoned bluegrass veteran. She played the Grand Ole Opry at 11, then major festivals and venues like the White House and Carnegie Hall. But she still exudes down-to-earth realness that makes her between-song banter just as enchanting as her music. Her latest album, “Weighted Mind,” finds her in a search for self, her honest lyrics sent flying on her high, clear voice and intricate mandolin playing. She was named mandolin player of the year at Thursday’s IBMA Awards.
Songs that stand out: “I’ll Be Fine,” “Black River” and you won’t want to miss the YouTube video in which she uses a washing machine as a metronome: bit.ly/2cb1oKh
Recommend if you like: Alison Krauss, Sarah Jarosz
When playing: 6:15 p.m. Saturday on the City Plaza Stage
Amythyst Kiah combines old-time music, R&B and classic country for a truly unique sound. A resident of Johnson City, Tenn., and an alum of East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program, the sounds of the South – past, present and future – are a uniting force in Kiah’s music. It is delivered with powerful vocals that will surely become her trademark.
Songs that stand out: “Myth,” “Darling Cora,” “Wildebeest”
Recommend if you like: Tracy Chapman, Adele, Patsy Cline
When playing: 8 p.m. Saturday on the Davie Street Stage
Stacy Chandler: firstname.lastname@example.org