The Art of Virtue

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Barnes & Noble - David McGee
On her scintillating second album, roots-oriented singer-songwriter/activist Adrienne Young takes inspiration from Ben Franklin's call to a higher moral standard in his guide to Thirteen Virtues (which is included here as a separate booklet). Aiding and abetting her on this old-timey journey are formidable acoustic musicians -- Will Kimbrough, Tim O'Brien, Rob McCoury, and Mike Bub from the Del McCoury Band, among many estimable others -- and suffice it to say they seem right in sync with Young's worldview. The songs range from forthright personal mission statements -- message songs don't get any more jubilant than the album-opening title track, a driving, hoedown-style ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
On her scintillating second album, roots-oriented singer-songwriter/activist Adrienne Young takes inspiration from Ben Franklin's call to a higher moral standard in his guide to Thirteen Virtues (which is included here as a separate booklet). Aiding and abetting her on this old-timey journey are formidable acoustic musicians -- Will Kimbrough, Tim O'Brien, Rob McCoury, and Mike Bub from the Del McCoury Band, among many estimable others -- and suffice it to say they seem right in sync with Young's worldview. The songs range from forthright personal mission statements -- message songs don't get any more jubilant than the album-opening title track, a driving, hoedown-style workout right out of Appalachia -- to stirring, instructive folktales from Young's youth, such as the sumptuous country ballad "Pretty Ella Arkansas" and a dry, dusty, twisted tale of a homicidal maniac, "Rastus Russell." Young also includes inspired cover songs that span a time frame connecting the pioneer fiddler/entertainer Uncle Dave Macon (a bustling, banjo-fired "Don't Get Weary") to the Grateful Dead (via the solemn "Brokedown Palace," a poignant Garcia-Hunter meditation on reconciliation and enduring love). The gospel song "Farther Along" is given a jubilant, celebratory bluegrass treatment with plenty of room for individual soloists to shine (kudos to fiery fiddler Jeremy Garrett); it seems to sum up the larger point Young is trying to make in the lyrics "farther along / we'll know all about it." Until that time arrives, look to The Art of Virtue as a light unto the path.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Barry Gilbert
[Grade: B+] Young...returns with a sophomore effort as charming as her debut.... The music is fresh and alive.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/28/2005
  • Label: Addie Belle
  • UPC: 828092111127
  • Catalog Number: BL921111

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Adrienne Young Primary Artist, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals, Spoons
Mike Bub Bass
Derek Jones Bass
Rob McCoury Banjo
Tim O'Brien Bouzouki, Vocals, Group Member
Gary Paczosa Overdubs
Tim Stafford Guitar
Will Kimbrough Banjo, Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
David Jacques Bass
John Deaderick Piano
Flynn Cohen Guitar
Fats Kaplan Pedal Steel Guitar, Button Accordion
Alan Bartram Bass
Jesse Cobb Mandolin
Andy Hall Dobro, Vocals
Chris Eldridge Guitar
Technical Credits
Uncle Dave Macon Composer
Gary Paczosa Producer
Tom Littlefield Composer
Will Kimbrough Composer, Producer
Steve Ebe Contributor
Rabindranath Tagore Poetry, Author
John Deaderick Engineer
Traditional Composer
Walter Crane Illustrations
Adrienne Young Composer, Producer, Art Direction
Adam Bednarik Engineer
Eric Merrill Composer
Benjamin Franklin Illustrations
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Enchanting mix of old-time & pop with 21st century musical keenness & business acumen

    Playing Time – 58:15 -- Adrienne Young has a unique flair in her music that is an enchanting mix of old-time and pop with 21st century musical keenness and business acumen. Young’s astute approach involves association with consummate musicians, charged-up arrangements, thoughtful messages, and bright and breezy vocalizing. Like her debut “Plow to the End of the Row,” Young’s sophomore effort, “The Art of Virtue,” is on her own Addiebelle Records. One has to appreciate this talented, young lady’s self-confidence as she continues to build her resume in a very competitive field. “The Art of Virtue” was inspired in part by Ben Franklin’s ‘virtues of man’ writings and stories. Songs like “My Sin is Pride” and “My Love Will Keep” and “Wedding Rings” emphasize the themes of morality, goodness, and high levels of integrity. Her messages might have a nostalgic look back to yesteryear, but her music is very contemporary and soothing. There’s certainly nothing wrong with a thematic album that appeals to us in a visceral way “down where the roots grow deep.” Ballads like “Ella Arkansas” and “Rastus Russell” paint powerful pictures and tell engaging stories while incorporating country and acoustic blues riffs. Art of Virtue features Young’s proficient songwriting, some reinvented old-time fiddle tunes, the gospel standard “Farther Along,” and the Grateful Dead’s classic “Brokedown Palace.” A Zydeco-flavored “Wedding Rings” is a spirited performance that gets us up and cutting a bean, while “Don’t Get Weary” is an old-timey offering with frailed banjo, guitar, bones, resonator guitar, and voices. Young’s lyrics offer mature and solid advice, usually gained from a lifetime of experience. Her smarts and wisdom belie her age. A grad of Belmont University’s music business program, Young’s career took off after winning the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest. Her “Plow to the End of the Row” CD earned a Grammy nomination for album design. On “The Art of Virtue,” Young’s songwriting exhibits honesty and a natural inclination to create lyrical and melodic treasures. Her singing shines with its greatest lustre on the slower songs, while a few pieces (like “Don’t Get Weary”) portray a more arduous side to her voice. An uptempo “Farther Along” is an interesting bluegrass presentation that certainly works, but her greatest success is as a storyteller of original folk tales. Young’s parables put to music are very likeable. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)

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