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The Art of Virtue based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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.)