KNOXVILLE – Season 9 finalist on NBC’s talent competition show The Voice, Emily Ann Roberts of Knoxville, will perform an opening set at the next World Class Bluegrass concert January 30, 2016 at Clayton Center for the Arts. The event also features legendary bluegrass stars The Del McCoury Band and acclaimed prodigy Sierra Hull.
Karns High School student Emily Ann Roberts, 17, became a media sensation when she outlasted all but one competitor on The Voice to become the runner-up finalist. As a member of country singer Blake Shelton’s team, Roberts’ final performance was a solo rendition of “Burning House” by Cam. She received a standing ovation from all four judges. Jordan Smith, of Harlan, Kentucky, was named winner of The Voice.
For more than 50 years, Del McCoury’s music has defined authenticity for hardcore bluegrass fans as well as a growing number of fans among those only vaguely familiar with the genre. McCoury is something special, a living link to the days when bluegrass was made only in hillbilly honkytonks, schoolhouse shows and on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, yet also a commandingly vital presence today, from prime time and late night talk show TV to music festivals where audiences number in the hundreds of thousands. Del might be 76, but he’s singing better than ever and showing no signs of slowing down.
Sierra Hull has been recognized from age 11 as a virtuoso mandolin-player, astonishing audiences and fellow-musicians alike. Now a seasoned touring musician nearing her mid-20s, Hull has delivered her most inspired, accomplished, and mature recorded work to date; no small feat. Weighted Mind (to be released January 29, 2016) is a landmark achievement, not just in Sierra Hull’s career, but in the world of folk-pop, bluegrass, and acoustic music overall. The official video of the disc’s first single, “Black River,” recently made its debut.
The World Class Bluegrass series is a production of award-winning Americana radio station WDVX and the Knoxville Americana Music Foundation. For more information, visit WDVX.com.