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Adrienne Young finds room to grow

By Dawn Pomento, August 2007

Page 2...

"And we sat down and that just kind of popped out. When you write with Mark, you talk about a lot of things, and he'll just be holding the guitar, then he'll just start doing something, and it just comes out perfect. He is total genius."

That songwriting story may sound as if Young is in the heart of established Nashville music, but she says that's not the case. She doesn't spend much time on Music Row, and, in fact, networking is hard for her.

"You're on the road so much, and you have a life. For me, I'm not an industry person, so I have to be cognizant of going to events and such and mix and mingle. I don't know…I generally go to the woods every day. If I don't go, I get pretty stressed out."

There's a lot to stress out Young too. All three of her CDs have been released on her own label, AddieBelle Music. She says it take most of her time now. But at least she was well prepared for the challenge.

"I studied music business at Belmont University, and I just remember one of my teachers saying, ‘Find a niche in the market that isn't being filled. And find a way to fill that niche with something that is authentically you.'"

Young says that has been her beacon. She says she asks herself, "Who are you and what do you care about and how do you translate that into something that will stand out in a world of saturation, media wise?"

When asked if there are advantages to running her own label, Young hesitates, but says, "It's not that it's necessarily an advantage. It's just that it's complete creative control." "But I wouldn't say that's an advantage because a record label is made up of a team. So when you get a record from an artist, if it's not from their own label, it's not just that artist. There are many, many hearts and hands that go into that record, from the artwork to the song choices to the engineer to the band to the producer." "I would say that the reality of it being your own label is that what I've created up to now is me. I mean obviously we work with great engineers and others, but it hasn't been influenced as much as it might be were there a bigger engine behind it. I'd be interested working with some other folks on the next one because I spend most of my time on the business portion, and I'd really like to spend some time on the music."

Music and food, food and music - it's all part of the same do it yourself and do it with integrity plan that Young lives by.

"The seed was when I was a teenager and ended up spending a lot of time on a farm with a wonderful family in Gainesville, Fla. It was the first time that I really helped work in the garden and then brought the food in for everybody to eat at night. I just witnessed the energy that everybody exuded and the joy of the family."

"It awed something in me, not only the health benefits of eating food without pesticides and the taste and the freshness and the nutritive content, but the actual feeling of connection with the land and with one another and connecting with the grand cycle of life. That simple experience that had been for thousands of years, until the 20th century when we lost a lot of our farms and the foundation of what life is about."

Does Young have her own garden? "Oh yes I have a beautiful garden," Young says with pride. "Tons of squash -all kinds of different squash, lettuces, greens, tomatoes, flowers, amaranth, strawberries, carrots, beets, radishes, leeks, garlic, I've got tons of stuff. I call it the back 40, but really it's 40 by 40 feet."

Young is busy cultivating her garden and creating her music. She's sustained by both activities. "I received a little letter yesterday from a woman I met in Washington, D.C. I was up in D.C. a couple of months ago lobbying for the farm bill. She works for the government and said she'd been listing to my CD and said she loves the music and the content and that it had really helped her get through the death of her mother a couple of month s ago."

"You get so caught up in the all these little business part of it and making it happen and getting the shows booked and getting the interviews, then you get a note like that and you remember that's what it's about you've communicated with someone on a soul level. That's why we're here. It's why we're all here."

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