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Adrienne Young Biography

Adrienne Young Biography

A native of Tallahassee, Florida, in fact a seventh-generation Floridian, she was raised on the land farmed by her family generations earlier. Young grew up in a musical family in Clearwater, where she was a member of the band Big White Undies. She was 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. She also formed the short-lived band Liters of Pop with Eric McConnell. She learned to play clawhammer-style banjo from Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, and set about amassing a catalog of old-time tunes. Adrienne Young began gaining attention with her 2003 win in the Chris Austin songwriting contest at MerleFest for "Sadie's Song". Co-written with Mark D. Sanders, the song is a re-telling of the murderous bluegrass standard "Little Sadie" told from the victim's point of view.

"Little Sadie" featured prominently on her first CD, Plow to the End of the Row, produced with another Nashville-based musician, Will Kimbrough, and released on her own AddieBelle record label (The label takes its name from a nickname Young was given while working as a tour guide at Nashville's Belle Meade Mansion). The CD, which includes a packet of wildflower seeds along with artwork based on the Farmer's Almanac, was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Album Package. An early version of Plow to the End of the Row, released in 2003, has become a sought-after collectible. That version included several tracks with Young backed by Old Crow Medicine Show and was a top pick for 2003 Debut Artist by the Freeform American Roots DJ Chart. The nationally-released version, featuring different sequencing, new tracks, and re-recorded versions of several songs, was released on April 13, 2004, one day before an interview with Young aired on NPR's All Things Considered. The Americana Music Association included Young and her band in their nominees for Emerging Artist of the Year, and the Nashville Scene named "Home Remedy" as Best Country Single of the year. The CD went on to place at or near the top of numerous "best of" lists for the year and the Los Angeles Times called Young "the Americana music find of the year."

Adrienne Young and her band Little Sadie (at the time, Tyler Grant on guitar, Clayton Campbell on fiddle and mandolin, Amanda Kowalski on bass, and Steven Sandifer on percussion) toured extensively across the U.S. and in England. The members of the band left to pursue other projects prior to the recording of her second CD, The Art of Virtue. That disc, released on June 28, 2005, took its theme from Benjamin Franklin's Thirteen Virtues. A copy of Franklin's pamphlet is included with the CD. Will Kimbrough co-produced the CD and co-wrote several tracks. Alongside original songs and traditional tunes, the disc featured a cover of the Grateful Dead song "Brokedown Palace." Young's AddieBelle label struck a distribution deal with Ryko Records which insured that her music got placed in more record stores. She also continued to receive support from public radio and was invited to appear on World Café, Mountain Stage, and A Prairie Home Companion. With a new incarnation of Little Sadie (fiddler and banjoist Eric Merrill, guitarist Hans Holzen, bassist Kyle Kegerreis, and percussionist Eric Platz), she toured even more extensively in 2005. On January 17, 2006, she was invited to sing in Philadelphia, as part of Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday celebration. And in May 2006, Young took her band to Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, New York, to record tracks for a third album. Titled Room to Grow, it was released May 22, 2007.

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