A seventh-generation Floridian, raised on the land farmed by her family generations earlier, Adrienne Young graduated magna cum laude from Belmont University in Nashville with a Music Business/Spanish degree. Endless and unfulfilling clerical jobs along Music Row motivated this triple-threat singer, writer and multi-instrumentalist to start her own record label, Addiebelle Music.
Adrienne Young used her public exposure from the start to laud positive organizations and issues, becoming a champion for sustainable agriculture. In 2004, she became the spokesperson for the Food Routes Network (www.foodroutes.org), which currently has 44 chapters across the United States, actively nurturing Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaigns whose primary aims are to build and strengthen local food systems. Adrienne Young is currently organizing a nation-wide tour that will raise awareness and involvement with the sustainable agriculture movement. "By creating infrastructures, community by community, for local growers to connect with consumers, we enable true food security, as well as the preservation of our regional diversity, cultural heritage and interdependence."
Adrienne Young lives in Nashville, but everything about her suggests some other time and place: the teapot in which she brews her organic tea, the sunlight that spills through her windows over stacks of books and rustic jumbles of tapestries and instruments, her quiet passion and intelligence, and above all the sound of Adrienne Young's music.
Adrienne Young first CD, Plow to the End of the Row (2003), addressed such topics as sustainable agriculture, a subject made more fascinating by the eloquence of her presentation and by its obscurity among splashier if no less worthy causes. She tackled an even more esoteric agenda on The Art of Virtue (2005), inspired by Benjamin Franklin's essays on the development of character and purpose.
You could not conceive of a less likely strategy for winning pop media attention - still, that's exactly what Adrienne Young achieved, from a Grammy nomination (most unusual for a debut indie release) to national radio exposure (via NPR) to numerous "best of" lists, including a "Best Country Single of the Year" citation from the Nashville Scene, third place in the Amazon.com list of "best folk recordings of the year," and benediction from the Los Angeles Times as "the Americana find of the year."
Expectations were high, then, as Adrienne Young readied her third album. And Room To Grow more than met them even as it caught Young watchers by surprise.
The music is, predictably, stunning: tightly crafted songs that, like the feel of her home and the flow of her conversation, infuse her love for American tradition with high contemporary energy. Adrienne Young 's vocals mirror weariness and hope on "Natural Bridge," cross intimate valleys and climb the emotional peaks of "Room Enough To Grow," simmer on the stone-country burner "High Flyin' Dream," yearn to go wherever the current takes her on "River and a Dirt Road."
It is, in other words, another stretch down the path Adrienne Young began to carve out on those first two albums. But listen more carefully and you'll hear that Room To Grow is also an unexpected detour into areas more personal than Adrienne Young had previously explored in song.
In these new tunes and compelling performances, Adrienne Young asks probing questions - about love, responsibility, idealism, stewardship - but the person she's interrogating is herself. This alone explains her insistence that this is her most "self-conscious, honest, and challenging" album to date.
Graced by contributions from former Phish bassist Mike Gordon, Nashville alternative icon Will Kimbrough, steel guitar wizard Gordon Stone, and bluegrass/Americana songbird Dale Ann Bradley, Room To Grow turns Adrienne Young 's focus inward. Yet even with this introspective side, it advocates living life directly, not vicariously through the lives of anyone else - including Adrienne Young.
"I hope I can offer something more in my music than, 'this is all about me and my perspective,'" she says. "In fact, I have a problem with assuming residence under the headline of 'artist,' because everybody is an artist, it's the exploration and expression of creativity that most people get hung up on. It certainly is one of my primary intentions to inspire people to become active participants when they turn on the radio and hear our music, rather than mere observers of someone else's creative process. We seem to, as a society, focus on celebrities when, in fact, we'd all have a much better time of it if we were goo-goo over ourselves instead, and the brilliant, vivid realities we all hold the potential to manifest with our imaginations."
Listen to Adrienne Young Here
|Plow to the End of the Row||2004||Addiebelle Music|
|The Art of Virtue||2005||Addiebelle Music|
|Room to Grow||2007||Addiebelle Music|