Sierra Hull spreads her wings

Sierra HullSierra Hull, the prodigious young singer and mandolin player, who has a debut Rounder album, Secrets, set for release on May 6, has landed a part in the film about Billy Graham’s early life, currently being shot on location in middle Tennessee.

The part came about following an article in The Tennessean newspaper and the submission of Ms. Hull’s name by Claire Armbruster of Nashville’s Keith Case & Associates, the firm responsible for booking Sierra’s personal appearances.

From the article…

“I sent it in without (Sierra) knowing. When I read what Anastasia [Brown] said about needing an 11- or 12-year-old that sounded like Alison Krauss, I thought of Sierra, even though she’s 16, because she’s so petite. They do miracles in the movies.”

The newspaper reports, on Thursday (March 27), Sierra recorded Just As I Am and I’ll Fly Away with producer John Carter Cash at his famed log cabin studio in Hendersonville. Participating in the session were top-notch musicians Randy Scruggs, Harry Stinson, John Cowan, Ronnie McCoury, Ronnie Bowman, Sarah Peasall and John Wesley Ryles.

Just As I Am was being sung when Billy had his conversion and walked the sawdust trail to the altar”, Anastasia says. “Her voice will be extremely highlighted during this climax of the film.”

Sierra had this to say about how the part came about, what her reaction was to learning of her role and of her early involvement in work for the film …..

“I’m really excited to be a part of the upcoming Billy Graham film. It should be a really wonderful experience and I’m excited to see how the movie will all come together in the end. I first received a call from Claire Armbruster at Keith Case and Associates (the folks who do my booking) one day after school informing me that she had sent my new record, ‘Secrets’, to Beverly Keel – a columnist for the Tennessean – who then passed it along to Anastasia Brown. She just wanted to let me know that she had sent them the CD, but wasn’t sure if they’d respond or not. A few days later Claire got a call from Anastasia letting her know that they would like me to be part of the project. I was told that I’d be singing Just As I Am for a scene in the movie. However, it wasn’t until about a week ago that I realized that I would actually be playing the role of Catherine Graham.

I’m so thrilled to have the chance to do something like this. This past Thursday was spent recording the music for the film at John Carter Cash’s studio in Hendersonville. What an honor it was to get to sing with some of my favorite singers like Ronnie Bowman and John Cowan. I’m anxious to hear how it all ends up sounding. Acting in this movie will be quite a new experience for me, but one I’m really looking forward to. My first couple days on set will be in Mid-April and then again sometime in May.

I feel so blessed to be a part of this, and I think it will be a really wonderful movie that will hopefully touch the lives of many people no matter whether you are a Christian or not.”

Beverly Keel’s full story can be read at The Tennessean website.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.