album reviews

Adrienne Young
Room to Grow
AddieBelle Music (2007)

Adrienne Young's passion for sustainable agriculture led her to create the Save a Seed Fund, which provides non-genetically-modified seeds to North American community gardens. Young and her label, AddieBelle Music, will donate proceeds from her latest CD, "Room to Grow," to that fund. Although she steers clear of overtly political songs on "Grow," her love of nature and the environment is evident, from the farming metaphors of the title track to the flower imagery on "Leaving It Behind."

Young is equally expressive when she's not singing: The solo banjo number "Happy Ending" shows off her instrumental prowess, while she gives a bluegrass flair to the traditional Irish "Sgt. Early's Dream/Maids of Castlebar." Though she plays guitar or banjo on every cut of the album, her voice is what makes her songs truly thrive. On "All for Good," her honey-sweet vocals convey the melancholy of the song's opening ("It's just one more day out of my life / gone for good, gone for good").

While "Grow" showcases Young's predominantly Americana sound, a cover of Dusty Owens's "Once More" finds her slipping into a twangier, more country sound. The song is a duet with Phish's Mike Gordon, and the addition of his bandmate Gordon Stone on pedal steel completes the old-timey feel of her rendition.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 15 June 2007, Page WE17
.: Room to Grow on