She comes from humble beginnings traveling around as a street performer, which turned listeners’ heads for her distinct sound and style.
Recently I watched a news interview from a local news station in Seattle, Washington, that aired a few weeks ago detailing Ferrell and her backstory.
As they visited the part of town that Sierra would often perform in, she described what it was like to make a living playing on the street:
“Being on the streets, busking, it’s very humbling.
The people that come and see you, they’re not expecting to see you; so, therefore, you’re not going to always have everyone’s attention.”
This interview sent me into a rabbit hole of finding some videos of Sierra Ferrell performing in her early days.
Lo and behold, I found this gem from 2015 of Ferrell performing on the streets of the French Quarter with Shine Delphi.
Both artists pick resonator guitars, giving their style a bright twang. We know and love Ferrell today for her vocals, but I love this video because it shows her in more of a supporting role with Delphi highlighting her ability to play.
They performed Delphi’s unreleased song “The Stars,” with upbeat lyrics matching the melodies.
I love seeing older videos, and hearing Ferrell’s unique vocal sound has always been her signature style. And when she jumps up an octave on the harmony, and it’s just magical.
“Well, I’m dizzy, so dizzy with desire As I’m feasting heavy by the fire.”
And now, 8 years after playing on the streets of New Orleans, Sierra is nominated for the 2023 Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association.