Monday, June 05, 2006

Adrienne Young "dreams real" in her Strawberry debut


Adrienne Young has enjoyed considerable success with her two albums and live performances in the bluegrass market, but now the singer-songwriter and frontwoman of her band, Little Sadie, dreams of breaking out in the broader jam-band market.

And when Young dreams, she "dreams real," as she frequently says at the end of her live performances or writes when signing CDs and merchandise. I spoke to her after her workshop performance at the recent Strawberry Music Festival, and I asked what the phrase means for her.

"Your thoughts create your reality. Focus the energy of your thoughts on what you want to manifest, because it will," she said.

For Young, her new focus on the jam market manifested itself at the Haymaker Music Festival in Spotsylvania VA the week before Strawberry, where she appeared on the bill with acts like Keller Williams and the Drive-By Truckers as well as traditional-based artists such as King Wilkie.

"I feel that you shouldn't try to keep yourself in a genre or a cloak that some people have already identified you by. The jam market has such a loyal fan base that will will be in it for the long ride. It's a good place to nurture a career," she said.

Toward that end, Young will be playing several more California festivals later this summer, including the High Sierra Music Festival and Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival. She has also introduced an electric guitar in the band, and said that many of her newer songs are written around it.

She and the band have also been at work on her third CD, recording at Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, N.Y. She featured what will be the title cut, "Room to Grow," in her main stage, Amy's Cafe, and workshop performances at Strawberry.

"Theres more heart in this record than there has been in the last two," she said.

For an artist whose songs celebrate simple virtues and preserving an earlier way of life, playing for the first time at Strawberry resonated with her personal ideals. She especially enjoyed a quick visit into Yosemite Park.

"I took a stroll in Tuolumne Grove to see 2,000-year-old trees. It is amazing to think that Abe Lincoln established the park here in 1864, and that at that point in our nation's history there was no thought of preservation, and yet to feel this energy and know that the land has been treated with such respect," she said.

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