Sierra Ferrell: The roots revival punk

It would be remiss to say that the title of this article is original, in fact, it’s stolen from a comment underneath Sierra Ferrell’s performance on Jimmy Kimmel – her first US television appearance – which reads: “Love the texture the percussion adds, she’s an absolute angel, the punk rock outlaw of country music”. Disagreeing is difficult, especially considering Ferrell’s new album, ‘Trail of Flowers’.  

In the ever-evolving landscape of folk and Americana music, there are artists whose voices echo through the corridors of time, carrying with them the essence of tradition while forging new paths of creativity. Sierra Ferrell is undeniably one of these voices. With a sound that harks back to the roots of American music while resonating with modern audiences, Ferrell has captivated listeners with her haunting vocals, masterful instrumentation and poetic songwriting. For Ferrell, it’s all about the roots revival.  


Back to her roots 

Sierra Ferrell’s journey into the world of music began in the hills of West Virginia, where she was born and raised. After her parents divorced when she was five years old, she lived in a trailer with one of her two siblings and her mother. It was here that Ferrell would forge her connection with the outdoors. Instead of picking up on the bluegrass roots of West Virginia, Ferrell found herself drawn to the typical popular 90s music of the time, listening to cassette tapes of Tracy Chapman and 10,000 Maniacs. Ferrell’s first instrument was the clarinet, quickly followed by joining a choir in high school. It ignited the musical spark in her. From there, she picked up guitar and started to teach herself, playing a set of Shania Twain covers at a local bar and joining a band she would later find out was a Grateful Dead cover band. After joining the band and starting to learn the songs, the other members of the band giggled behind her back before telling her the truth. This would be Ferrell’s fatal flirtation with bluegrass that set her on the ‘Trail of Flowers’.  


The road less travelled: Ferrell’s artistic evolution 

As Ferrell’s passion for music grew, so did her desire to explore new horizons and push the boundaries of her artistry. Fuelled by a restless spirit and an insatiable hunger for creativity, she embarked on a journey that would take her across the country, from the bustling streets of New Orleans to the intimate venues of Nashville and beyond. 


It was on this journey that Ferrell began to carve out her own unique sound, blending elements of folk, blues, country and jazz into a tapestry of sound that defies categorisation. With each new city she visited and each new encounter she had, Ferrell’s music evolved, taking on new dimensions and reaching new heights of expression. On her ‘Trail of Flowers’, Ferrell takes the time to pay tribute to the string band Fox Hunt, naming a song after them. In particular, Ferrell counts John R. Miller – the vocalist of Fox Hunt – as the inspiration behind the track, which serves as a nod to her exploration of the bluegrass scene in her early 20s.  


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Media Contact
Hannah Larvin, Editor, Maverick Magazine
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