Sierra Ferrell Signs to Rounder. Sierra Ferrell Signs to Rounder
As some of you may or may not know, summers at Saving Country Music are spent on the West Coast avoiding the heat in Texas and scouting for talent that the mother brains of country music located in Nashville and Texas regularly overlook. This year a good haul of new names were thrown on the radar from watching them perform at festivals and such, but perhaps the most valuable name was handed over via a smart phone and a video presented under the inquiry, “Have you ever heard of Sierra Ferrell?”
In a video from GemsOnVHS that now has well north of 1 million views (see below), Sierra Ferrell immediately reveals herself as one of those one-in-a-million country music voices that instantly compels you regardless of what is being sung. A native of West Virginia, Ferrell first began making music when she was a child, and packed up her guitar at age 20 and hit the road. Since then, she’s been criss-crossing the country and sharing her unique style of honky tonk country, blues, with a little bit of jazz mixed in that audiences are both immediately familiar with, but crave as the music they’ve been missing their whole lives.
When it was announced Wednesday (8-21) morning that this undiscovered gem had signed to Rounder Records, it was both a shock, and made perfect sense. “I’m pickled pink, and it’s a big dill,” says Ferrell about the news. “All the folks I’ve met at Rounder are kind, supportive, and enthusiastic about my gain to their roster. I’ve been writing a lot. Let’s make some music.”
As you can seen from her statement, Sierra doesn’t just have talent, she has a spunk and personality that has gotten lost in a lot of “Americana” music. Along with Rounder Records, Sierra has also signed with the Paradigm Talent Agency (Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Tyler Childers, et al) for booking, and with Dolphus Ramseur (The Avett Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops) for management. This means Sierra doesn’t just have herself a new record deal, she has a top notch team behind her to push her to the top.
“Sierra Ferrell’s voice encompasses West Virginia,” says Dolph Ramseur. “When she sings, it’s impossible not to listen and envision the beautiful mountains and luscious valleys of that wild and wonderful state. Listen closely and you’ll hear the roaring rivers and haunting hollers of wild creatures and timeless characters. If you are within earshot of Sierra, her singing commands and dares you to listen.”
Keith Levy at the Paradigm Talent Agency adds, “We were blown away by Sierra from the moment we met her—her once-in-a-generation voice, but also the feeling that when you are with her, truly anything can happen. We are super excited to be working with Sierra. It will be a wild ride!”
There are artists to watch out for, and then there are artists who everything seems to align for on their way to making music the right way. Sierra Ferrell fits in that latter category. Expect a new record arriving some time in 2020.
August 21, 2019 @ 9:39 am
what’s not to absolutely love about that voice and that melody ? so sweet , so innocent and honest and touching . this reminds me of melissa carper’s simlarly simple and heartfelt delivery ( ‘new old time songs’…..a current favourite of mine ) and loretta’s recent album . this so lends itself to ( nay ….DEMANDS ) sparse accompaniment .
its a good morning so far ………
radio has SO MUCH to learn about the timeless elements of music that actually move people and set an artist apart . that’s assuming radio even WANTS to learn which , of course is questionable in these times .
August 21, 2019 @ 9:47 am
Melissa Carper is a good reference. Either you have that warble in your voice, or you don’t. And controlling it might be the hardest part. That’s why it’s not hyperbole to call a voice like Sierra Ferrell’s “one-in-a-million.” And to match it with that old country style with just a touch of jazz is the best way to let it shine. I look forward to what this young lady does in the studio.
August 21, 2019 @ 9:41 am
Been following her on Instagram and YouTube for about (I guess) a year now. This is great news.
August 21, 2019 @ 10:28 am
Hard pass from me. I can see why some people might like her, but I like country singers with a few less septum rings.
August 21, 2019 @ 11:02 am
oh, there are plenty of Luke Bryan type singers out there that dress and act how Nashville tells them to so they can maximize their deal together and rake in the extra money. If piercings bother you then maybe saving country music is not for you because it is full of outlaw type artist who does things THEIR WAY (example: I want a piercing in my nose)
Let me guess, long hair and beards turn you away too.
so looks is important in music? that is crazy.
August 21, 2019 @ 11:23 am
I’ll be honest and say the nose ring & her appearance made me go whoa but then I heard her signing and was pretty impressed. Looking forward to hearing some recorded stuff from her with this new deal she signed.
I had the same whoa reaction to seeing the appearance of Tyler Childers, Jamey Johnson, Cody Jinks with the long hair/ beards (It was a -I wasn’t expecting that moment) but damn they are country and in the end their music/ voices won me over.
August 21, 2019 @ 5:35 pm
Unfortunately, I don’t know if Saving Country Music agrees with you, since Trigger is happy to criticize how Maren Morris dresses.
August 21, 2019 @ 5:58 pm
Saying that I criticize Maren Morris for the way she dresses is such a gross reduction of the constructive criticism I have given her about the way she comes across to many as arrogant and off putting. Morris literally posts images knowing they’ll be provocative and stimulate criticism so that she can turn around and couch herself as a victim.
August 21, 2019 @ 6:32 pm
“I have no choice but to criticize her for wearing sports bras”
The criticism isn’t necessary. If it weren’t for pearl clutchers, her images wouldn’t stimulate criticism. She should be able to post whatever she wants without someone telling her how to dress, that’s what’s gross here. Statements like this:
“But in country, Maren posting pictures of herself in sports bras on private jets, in sports bras at a big sporting event, in a sports bras at some landmark, or in a bikini on the beach comes across as down-looking, and pandering for acceptance.”
Then you say don’t judge a singer based on appearance, as if that’s not exactly what you do.
You are a great resource for country music, but you have no place telling someone how to dress or what to post on instagram. It’s not constructive criticism, it’s controlling. And it’s hypocritical because you won’t do the same for artists you like.
August 21, 2019 @ 10:38 pm
It’s not that I don’t like Maren Morris. The first time I ever wrote about her was a positive review of her song “My Church.” I was excited for her career. The last time I wrote about her was to stick up for her being included in The Highwomen, and praising her for being wanting and willing to make country music the right way. This weekend I was at a music festival here in Texas, and this very topic came up with a colleague of mine. I want to like Maren Morris. She’s from Texas, and the Dallas area specifically where I’m from. In general, I want to like music, because I’m a music fan. Maren Morris’s social media presence is its own autonomous topic. You can pull quote me all you want, but frankly it’s just not germane to this discussion. The fact that I’m highlighting this young woman’s music, and defending her from rude people who are judging her solely off her looks should tell you all you need to know about how I feel we should treat women artists. But that doesn’t mean they should be beyond criticism.
August 22, 2019 @ 9:49 pm
Please. When you wrote about the highwomen (would love to see your opinion on the highwomen song by the way, I’ve been waiting for you to mention it), you didn’t really give her too much credit. You said people shouldn’t be too quick to judge just because she’s in it, which is Luke warm at best, and that maybe she brings in at bigger crowd, that will, “who knows, maybe help convert them to more quality music.”
You’ve also called “my church” a “Trojan horse, a bait and switch, a scam.”
I very much agree that Ms. Ferrell should but be judged by her appearance, I appreciate you do as well, but when you attack women for how they dress, any attempt to dissuade others from doing the same feels shallow.
Buddy Emmons' Buddy
August 21, 2019 @ 1:27 pm
Hey fuck nuts wanna critique a young woman’s appearance? Or do you wanna conduct yourself like an adult and discuss music on a music website? I know that’s a lot to ask from an anonymous post on the internet, but let’s try to do better. Women in the industry, and America at large, absolutely cannot win in this endless and insane conversation- you think they’re too this or not enough that.
August 21, 2019 @ 5:42 pm
I’m critical of dudes with nose rings as well so you can keep your self righteous horseshit. That said, I love these tunes.
August 25, 2019 @ 7:40 am
Praise Jesus Brother Shade. Those Infidels will never see the Gates of Heaven with Rings in their Noses because it says so in some scripture somewhere i heard about. Aint Nothing in the country with Rings in their noses but Steers and I bet that reminds you of your First Sexual Experience in an embarrassing way.
August 22, 2019 @ 10:15 am
Pretty darn sure any nose rings, earings or other body jewelry won’t affect her voice.
August 21, 2019 @ 10:35 am
Janet Klein, Andrew Bird, Pokey LaFarge, Nikki Lane, Sierra Ferrell, the risqué antiquarians. Arty types.
As far as unique female voices and writers go, I’ve said it before: Leah Blevins.
August 21, 2019 @ 2:05 pm
Leah Blevins is badass.
Apple Atcha Insider
August 21, 2019 @ 11:19 am
Ah, the inspiration for Charleston Girl is finally getting some well deserved traction and publicity.
August 24, 2019 @ 9:22 pm
I instantly wondered if Sierra was the inspiration for Charleston Girl when i heard it.
August 21, 2019 @ 12:58 pm
Good lord- my cat is more country.
And BTW, long hair and beards are natural and in many cases add to the effect. Just foer the record I don’t care for the long beards.
Piercings are distracting, especially when added with tattoos- and yes I have a tattoo. 1 on my left fore arm which after 57 years is quite blurred and usually tanned over- but I have no piercings. I can’t help but thinking about the Pit Bulls and Parolees *stars*- their body *art* distracts from the message of the show and draws attention away from the cause- all that aside this girls voice makes me nauseous.
August 21, 2019 @ 3:54 pm
I’d love to take you seriously, but the fact that you have a dusty old forearm tattoo prevents me from doing so….
August 22, 2019 @ 4:17 am
you’re an idiot and your comment is so irrelevant.
August 22, 2019 @ 5:46 am
It’s not a distraction.
That said, I enjoy Crystal Bowersox who is more country without trying than this girl, and she has tattoos- I guess that means I didn’t listen to her with my eyes- I don’t like this girls voice and my eyes verified what I heard- I don’t like her voice, I don’t like her tattoos and I don’t like piercings anywhere but ears on girls- I’m pretty sure my opinion won’t effect her income one way or another except she won’t get any from me- because I don’t like her voice- AND the other junk is distracting.
August 21, 2019 @ 1:26 pm
Listening with your eyes is a bad habit. Of course it’s natural, and the appearance of an artist will always draw or repel certain people based off their sensibilities. But it’s best to close your eyes and get lost in the music. It’s the one thing that dumb NBC show with Blake Shelton got right.
August 21, 2019 @ 1:37 pm
Nope. Voice is fingernails on a chalk board to me.
August 21, 2019 @ 7:59 pm
I tend to agree. I will take Jamie Lin Wilson any day over this.
August 24, 2019 @ 11:41 pm
Ya know Scott once upon a time I ALMOST thought that same exact thing about a woman named Sarah when I first SAW and listened. I even told her I chuckled when I first heard her and didn’t “get it”……but now she’s my favorite. She’s so honest and so real I ended up loving her for being just who she is and there’s no one like her. When I met her she was an absolute sweetheart, 100% real. I’ve waited on this thread a few days to give these songs a couple listens and I like Sierra’s voice….fuck, she’s Carrie Underwood compared to Sarah….lol
I can’t wait for more music from her. Both Sarah and Ashley McBryde are beautiful to me because they touch me with their music. Trigs right, you don’t listen with your eyes (especially as men) because you’ll miss some great music. Oh, and by the way I love hairy women but it has nothing to do with these tunes or her voice.
August 26, 2019 @ 5:33 am
JB, I do share your love of Ashley McBryde. I could listen to her all day. This one, Sierra, maybe she’ll grow on me, but I seriously doubt it. Now, your Sarah, sorry, that’s a lost cause for me. I’ve tried to get into her music, it just doesn’t happen. Oh, and looks have nothing to do with any of the ladies, I couldn’t care less. Although, I find Ashley beautiful…
August 21, 2019 @ 1:40 pm
Nose rings are for cows.
So, country yes. For livestock.
August 21, 2019 @ 7:48 pm
Bulls. Nose rings are for controlling unruly Bulls. Never saw a cow mean enough to warrant a nose ring. Although, with hogs, We used to ring the noses of sows to keep them from rooting the gates of the hinges,but they go on the outside of the nostrils not through the septum like a bull ring. Just some totally unrelated farm facts competely not germane to the subject matter of this article. 😬
Something Always Told Me They Were Reading Tommy Wrong
August 22, 2019 @ 7:29 am
When I was a little kid I used to ride on the sows when they got moved, and pretend like I was a cowboy. They never seemed to mind. I kinda miss those days. I don’t miss the sight of dead piglets on the muck heap, though. Their pale pink corpses against the dark muck is an image that has stuck with me.
I guess that would make me pretty country, if I weren’t from an entirely different country.
August 22, 2019 @ 4:20 pm
Thanks Jackie, it makes me wonder whether the pierced people know how hilarious the associations are. Like the boys with the pants pulled down to show their underwear: don’t they know that’s a prison thing, to show your availability for taking it up the butt? Sometimes all you can do is laugh. And shake your head.
August 23, 2019 @ 12:03 pm
Ummm, I think someone has fed you some fake news on the origins of sagging pants. It’s hilarious that you believe it though.
August 23, 2019 @ 12:55 pm
You must drink Snopes koolaid. Inmates at a prison I volunteer at told me this, and there’s plenty more such talk around. I’m sure the baggy pants thing has a bigger and longer history. Some of it apparently has to do with embarrassing slaves as punishment. Try not to be so breezy.
August 21, 2019 @ 1:54 pm
We saw her open for Parker Millsap in Roanoke a couple weeks ago and she BLEW my mind. She was incredible and she stole the show. I’m so happy she’s finally getting recognized.
August 21, 2019 @ 2:22 pm
Can’t even imagine how boring you have to grumble about piercings.
Thanks for the rec Trig! Spotify’s recommended section rarely lands on something worthwhile so I usually come here for new artist recommendations.
August 21, 2019 @ 2:50 pm
I’ve been enjoying her music on the You Tube for a few months now. Gems on VHS puts out some good stuff. Her voice is sublime.
August 21, 2019 @ 3:02 pm
I get Iris Dement vibes – Infamous Angel.
It’s not for me but country is a broad church … unless you read the comments on SCM 😉
August 21, 2019 @ 3:45 pm
She’s got a good voice. Wish I didn’t look at her Instagram and see a bunch of arm pit hair though. Good grief.
August 22, 2019 @ 4:46 pm
……how the hell does this thread go from an article about a sweet-voiced young country singer struggling to make her way in an industry that’s all but forgotten how to even SPELL the word c-o-u-n-t-r-y to a discussion of tats, nose rings, arm pit hair , prison rapes and dead piglets on a muck heap ???
kenny rogers would be ashamed of us .
( and Netflix would turn it into a series )
August 22, 2019 @ 7:22 pm
Great voice. Also, I think she’s a beautiful woman.
August 21, 2019 @ 5:13 pm
Reminds me of Lillie Mae…piercings and all.
August 21, 2019 @ 5:27 pm
BuT sHe HaS a NoSe RiNg aNd TaTtOos!
Shut up, you dusty old fools. She’s got talent. That’s what matters.
August 21, 2019 @ 6:47 pm
You forgot arm pit hair.
August 21, 2019 @ 9:22 pm
Well, consider my pearls fully clutched. A woman with the audacity to not take a razor to her underarms? What is this world coming to?
August 22, 2019 @ 4:19 am
so…..however you dress and appear is the right way? lmao.
Your comment is so irrelevant.
August 22, 2019 @ 7:46 am
August 21, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
Thanks Trig! Always love being introduce to a great new sound that I’ve never heard before. Keep it up!
August 21, 2019 @ 8:13 pm
Dang, I absolutely love this. It’s been awhile since something I found on this website really appealed to me but I definitely look forward into looking into her music more.
Something Always Told Me They Were Reading Tommy Wrong
August 22, 2019 @ 2:22 am
I like the first two songs. The other one doesn’t really do anything for me. Like others I was a little distracted by all the ironmongery, not really my sort of thing. I feel I’m turning into an old fogey a little in that regard. Those nose things are horrible and really distracting (unless you are the prize bull). Not a huge fan of tattoos either, even though I’m covered in them myself. If I had my time again I probably wouldn’t get any.
But I don’t have to look at her to listen to her music. Really like that first song. Her voice just blows me away on that one. Thanks, Trig!
August 22, 2019 @ 6:00 am
How she “looks”? She looks like herself as she wants to be seen. How she sounds? Well, you have my attention. Reminds me of the first time I heard Tyler Childers. In that, “woah, what do we have here?”. I highly doubt she’ll head down the Maren path . . . which is . . . a brand. Maren fully understands and capitalizes on the power of social media to promote and evangelize Team Maren. Her inclusion in The Highwomen, is just as calculated on her part as it is on the rest of the ladies (and management) in that crew. And that is what is required to get gigs on the late night talkies. Puts down beer, queries neighbors: Amanda, who? Brandi . . . yeah, I kinda, maybe recognize her song, The Joke from last year, Natalie??? Yeah, I got nothing. Maren? one second lapse . . . MORRIS? You mean 80’s Mercedes, The Middle with Zedd, My Church . . . oh, yeah . . .I LOVE her.
Good on her for shaking that dollar tree for all it’s worth. Get it while you can and get it while the gettins’ good.
August 22, 2019 @ 7:59 am
Holy smokes this comment section is a riot. Who knew people could get so offended by what piercings you have and the fact that you don’t shave your body hair.
August 22, 2019 @ 5:13 pm
I think the word you’re looking for is “at best, amused.”
Speaking personally, I’m glad she’s doing something other than writing cliche commercial crap.
August 25, 2019 @ 12:26 pm
I wonder how many discussions there are on this website about the appearance of any male artists? I mean, I’ve haven’t read every single one article, but I’m willing to bet its approximately ZERO.
On an obviously less important issue, I think she’s great
August 23, 2019 @ 12:49 pm
I really like that first song.
August 24, 2019 @ 8:40 pm
So glad to see country music moving away from the all sounds the same regurgitated pop crap, and back to real writing by truly talented artists. Sierra is the real deal. She has more genuine grit in her pocket than a bunch of old school judgemental folks like you nay sayers can obviously see. There is a whole world of truly talented country folks out there that run in Sierra’s circle. Yeah I suppose reality just ain’t as superficial as your used to. Sierra babe I love your hairy arm pits and your wild uniqueness. You my dear are a gem of a human. Plenty of folks won’t see that but honey your people always will. Country music used to be cathartic, used to speak to your soul, used to bring a tear to your eye with a smile on your lips. Nowadays it’s all about your truck and your dog. I can see how seeing true talent after a life of barebones talent might be challenging to look real beauty in the face. Sierra I am so proud of all you do and the geuinity you bring to the table with this deal. Your one of my heroines and lady don’t you forget it.
August 25, 2019 @ 5:52 am
I am so excited that my favorite beautiful country girl is gonna be famous. The world is full of people that will never understand how beautiful you are, Sierra. Please don’t ever let them get you down! I appreciate your face tattoos, hair dye, piercings and body hair. I appreciate you representing me and the way I look and feel. I appreciate you being real and true to yourself. From one weird girl to another, thank you for being so lovely and most importantly CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR RECORD DEAL!!!!
August 26, 2019 @ 6:40 am
Man this is great news! I’m from Charleston and the first time I came across Sierra was at a string band festival an hour or so out of town. I was wandering around and there was a little stomp and instrument freestyle and Sierra just jumped right in with a old tyme freestyle and killed it. I had two out of five toes on the ground walking the other way when her voice called out and I didn’t let it get to three before I turned back around towards the group. Ended up catching more shows in town and meeting her through friends and I’m pumped so many other people are going to get to hear hear her now.
August 30, 2019 @ 4:30 am
We love you Sierra Ferrel. Keep being amazing, cant wait to hear what else you put into the universe. So happy for you! Your doing great things!!
John R Baker
August 31, 2019 @ 5:26 am
I have been following her for a year and she’s great. But I was also surprised by this because she seems too inaccessibly free spirited to bring in crowds like the other acts these teams work with. You can see that in all the reactions even here. And musically she has a penchant for a writing style that often sounds more like mid-career Tom Waits than country. But that weirdness is what really makes her special IMO. With her prolific and original song writing I think at the very least with a team that keeps her structured she’s going to have a huge cult following.
February 6, 2020 @ 10:04 pm
Sierra has always dared to be different and always succeeded being so. She is what I call a beautiful ray of perfection.I never knew she could sing until 2012. When she first began sharing her voice she did not sound like she does today, idk if shes masked her voice or maybe she got better over the years and I mean that in a non negative sense because that voice of hers def stands out. I remember blocking her so long ago because she private messaged me telling me off, she was real harsh over me venting about a guy on facebook. At the time it pissed me off but later on I realized she was being the only real one to tell me what an ass I was making myself out to be. Shes always done what she wanted no matter who it hurt, I could never be friends with the woman, we are too different is all but I cant deny her of her talents. Ive always enjoyed her unique style and songs. Ive been waiting to see her make it big, I am happy for her. I read alot of people criticizing her for armpit hair and a septum ring, I find it absolutely fascinating, cuz thats when you know you are a real artist when you have people who love you and people who love to hate you. Now Im just waiting to see how many more country/folk singers grow their armpit hair and get their septum pierced because they cant help but to envy the beautiful untamable sierra.