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Adrienne Young and Little Sadie - The Art Of Virtue
CD Review by Jim Moulton

A sophomore release, distributed by Rykodisc on her own label, Adrienne and her band "Little Sadie" have created fifteen tracks of refreshing brilliance in every way. Recorded on a twenty four track Otari analog machine on two inch tape, the sound is both warm and delightful. Produced by Adrienne with the help of Will Kimbrough and Gary Paczosa, you have an album of acoustic genius, from bluegrass to old fashioned acoustic country songs with the flavor of the Carter Family. Adrienne helped pen several of the songs and if I would compare her vocally to anyone, it would be Kelly Willis, but just as a reference. 

The idea for this concept album came from the writings of Ben Franklin. How refreshing to have a CD about virtues and living a responsible life. I really liked that, but the quality of the music and song material really touched me.

Between the message and beautiful harmonies and ringing acoustic guitar riffs, there is a real creative work here. There is a killer version of the country gospel song "Farther Along", with some great fiddle, and hot pickin' on the guitar. A nice mandolin break and some great banjo also. I love the way Adrienne sings around the melody and the great backup vocals. 

"Brokedown Palace", a Grateful Dead cover, is the album's crown jewel placed appropriately last. From the Dead's acoustic "American Beauty", Adrienne's voice sings it sweet, but with emotion and some great harmony. Great organ in the background with some great fiddle. Very nice rhythm guitar by Adrienne. Will Kimbrough plays a lead that takes you back to memories of Jerry Garcia. 

The album storms out with the title track "The Art Of Virtue", with Adrienne on banjo and some great fiddle and backup vocals, this song has a great Irish influenced musical hook and great lyrics. Very informal and live vibe to the sound.

A slow bluegrass acoustic song "My Sin Is Pride" has some sweet dobro. Just a great emotive, honest song.

"Pretty Ella Arkansas" is one of Adrienne's ballads. Some real nice pedal steel in the background. Love this song, just sweet warm acoustic music. Adrienne has a way of taking you to another era with her music, but keeping the quality top rate. 

"Walls Of Jericho" is another song written by Adrienne, inspired by a lonesome drive thru Texas. This is a singer-songwriter song with bell like acoustic guitar tone and pretty fiddle. "Victory in the sound of Our defeat".

Much is to be said about the audiophile sound quality of this disc recorded at "House of David", engineered by Adam Bednarik. 

Scheduled for release 6/28/05, this should be a real boost to Adrienne's stock who with much expert help created a real masterpiece. Once in a while, something really special and different comes along, this is one of those times. Easily one of the best new discs that I have heard this year. Not country radio material, but should do really well on the Americana charts.


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Real People Reviews

It has been years since I've heard music this honest and pure! How Adrienne can sing about our disappearing natural heritage in "Hills and Hollers" and be glad to be alive is a mystery to me! Or to sing about Ella Arkansas as if she really existed...well, she does in our hearts. With the wonderful support of Little Sady, Adreinne Young has blessed us with songs of truth, purity, and beauty that are hard to find in our cynical world. My world has expanded because of their efforts. Bless you all! 
~ Lee

What a great CD. I am loving every song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I especially love Ella Arkansas and of course, Brokedown 
Palace. I wish the rest of the world could have the opportunity to hear these songs. I am sure people would be blessed as I have been. 

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