Yet Another Reason to Love Life

Plow to the End of the Row (AddieBelle Music)
Adrienne Young

By Larry Alexander

Who is Adrienne Young? Why have I never heard her before? You must listen to this on a good if not great sound system to get the full thrust of her genius. I put it on in the car and it hit at about 87 percent -- then on my home system it was a full-out 100 percent. This is true Americana-folk speaking to human trials, tribulations and joys. This CD just makes me feel good about being here while encouraging me to attempt to make life better.

The vocals by Young and Will Kimbrough are pristine and the accompanying guitar, French harp and banjo work is beyond reproach. Her first cut, "I Cannot Justify," ends with "I am a white girl but what was I before?" This one requires listening to the music then returning to appreciate the words.

But the title track is the signature piece. The story is so classic rural America that even if you ain't never done it, you feel you have. If you can't close your eyes and be on the farm, you might want to rethink your life.

"Blinded by the Stars," meanwhile, happens to reflect the theme of one of my current painting adventures -- sort of my protest while "Blinded" is Young's protest. While I write this review and think about my painting, I am also reading Flyboys by James Bradley. When is it going to end -- the senseless killing? To that end, "Soldiers Joy" is a classic traditional mixed in with some originals. The lyric, "15 cents for morphine and 25 cents for the beer" sets the tone. And "Stripes," written by Johnny Cash and Charlie Williams, is nothing but a total hoot.

There are 17 cuts on this CD -- too many to review individually, but not a bad one among them. This is superb Americana-folk, great stories put to music. Who is Adrienne Young? She is a jewel. She is soulful. Her words and music make me feel good and help me remember why I love my life.