A Star On The Rise: Sierra Ferrell, From Busking in West Virginia to the Spotlight

Sierra Ferrell © Jay Strausser
Sierra Ferrell © Jay Strausser
Singer/songwriter Sierra Ferrell shares a bit of her story, from busking in West Virginia to the country music spotlight.

Sierra Ferrell has made quite a name for herself in a short amount of time. She is a voice that you can hear from miles away. Ms. Ferrell has stayed true to her roots and the future is very bright for this budding singer/songwriter.


Sierra Ferrell © Jay Strausser

Atwood Magazine: Can you tell us about your band and how you originally met?

Sierra Ferrell: I have a four piece now (including myself). The bass player is named Geoff Saunders, who actually does the in-ear monitors, as well. He’s a great musician as well, as he does a lot of jazz, and guitar player. My mandolin player is  Joshua Rilko, is a great singer/songwriter and Oliver Bates Craven is the fiddle player, who also plays electric guitar. I met them out in “The Nashville Scene”, I get it all in the jam community and everyone knows each other. It  makes it really special because we are all intertwined in this world. We want and need to play music of all kinds we like, and of people that have passed. Maybe old ancient songs from hundreds of years ago. That’s a meeting ground, that we blast into relationships, and become a band.

Can you tell us a little about your songwriting process? You have a few songwriters in the band, and have some heartfelt lyrics that really resonate with your audiences.

Sierra Ferrell:  We always tried to connect with the old timey music. I’ve always kind of channeled that while being a writer. I want my songs to be that way, where people are learning them, and playing them for years to come at festivals. That’s one of the true ways we can live forever.

Who was the first singer/songwriter that you heard that wanted you to make music a career? You went from busking in West Virginia to fans present day that are around the globe.

Sierra Ferrell: What made me push in this direction, is honestly a break up. In thriving as a musician you understand that a lot of it is luck, practicing and putting in your time for your craft. Knowing and meeting the right people.

Having that right energy and the people that want to grow throughout the years. Can be with you in the present and be with you in the future as well.

Sierra Ferrell: That is absolutely correct! It’s like a family unit. Especially if we’re out on the bus, we’re all on top of each other. We need to figure out a way to all get along, or find a solution to where we’re all on the same page and not make each other upset. We can’t always make sure everyone’s feet smell good but it’s something we can overlook. It’s just a vibe, and I think we have a good unit right now.

Sierra Ferrell © Marc Shapiro
Sierra Ferrell © Marc Shapiro

Are there any musicians that you feel are flying under the radar right now? (I feel the list could go on and on).

Sierra Ferrell: The list could go on and on because there are always more musicians who are stepping into what they feel is their best self of making music. Honestly, as a musician, the artistic side, you’re never satisfied.

On this next run I’m going to have all women come out with me. In this industry I feel like it is harder for women.

A lot of musicians that rise just want to play. The dollar signs will come but they just want to have fun.

Sierra Ferrell: The band (along with the crowd) just want to have fun. A crowd can pick up on something if it’s pure. People want real, pure rawness.

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Sierra Ferrell © Jay Strausser

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