Bio

About Adrienne

 

 

Adrienne Frailey is a northern Indiana singer-songwriter whose vibrant, acoustic sound has recently caught the attention of folk-indie and Americana DJs. Her guitar and keyboard melodies are innovative and memorable. A late-2012 effort with her third self-produced CD Definitely moved her to eighth place in Hoosier artists receiving radio airplay across the U.S. (Roots Music Review data, Jan. 2013).

 

More recently, her 2013 indie single "New Eyes" was written for Los Angeles author/Youtube personality Kaleb Nation as a theme for his novel Harken, released 01/13/13. "This song fits the book so well, and this is what writers pretty much dream of happening," he vlogged.

 

 

 

Of "the new artists on the Top 20 List, Adrienne Frailey stands out," Host Kelley Martin wrote (12/31/12) for Acoustic Pie. Adrienne transcends her Midwestern roots to explore the global human journey. Listeners use terms like goosebumps (Germany), and brilliant (Wales) to describe her music. Surprising as a snow leopard stepping from an Indiana cornfield. One Midwestern woodworker says, "Adrienne has a new #1 fan. I listened straight through the entire album three times in a row, then moved it to my truck." On the other side of the globe a mother from the Australian Bush writes, I sing Dying Breath to my baby. It's so beautiful." 

Adrienne sings originals, traditionals, Celtic and cover music. Vocally she is often compared to Sarah McLachlan, Sara Barielles, Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy and Carole King. Solo and with other performers or a band, Adrienne played 105 concerts in 2012, including the Kent State Folk Festival. She likes performing at regional historical events. While she can rivet audiences with her renditions of traditional tunes, her original ballads have also been praised. Balladeer and Waterbug Records founder Andrew Calhoun calls her song Lilian "as spare and gripping as any in the Child collection." A Three Rivers, MI listener said, "Adrienne brings out such emotion in us."

 

Left: Adrienne Frailey at the 2011 Folk Alliance Regional Midwest playing her mother's guitar, Right: A young Joy Frailey (Adrienne's mother) in 1975

 

Left: Joy Frailey, Right: Drew Frailey (1976)

 

 

Left: Steven Seevers, Right: Drew Frailey (Adrienne's father) performing in duet music group, Cool Change (May 2016)

 

The Fraileys performing together at the Box Factory in St. Joseph Michigan, 2010

 

Adrienne is a fourth-generation musician, writing since the age of twelve and performing since sixteen. Her paternal grandmother was a classical pianist. Her maternal grandmother played in Tennessee live radio with a family band in the 1930s and 1940s. Adrienne credits God for her opportunities, her mother for her music ear, her father for her long fingers, and her family and older sister Andrea for their inspiration and support. "Thanks to Mom and Dad and literally several hundred of their concerts they dragged me to [she smiles as her eyes roll], I like many types of music."

 

Adrienne performed her first original song on guitar at her middle school talent contest and took first place. Someone yelled, "Adrienne, you rock!" That esteem booster encouraged her to attend open mics and perform with her parents. "Middle school is the toughest audience you'll ever have," she knew. "I began to write songs seriously at that point." At sixteen she wrote songs of struggle and recovery, like "Wasteland," which had emerged from what life was now throwing at people she cared about. At seventeen she sat at a ‘98 Roland E-500 keyboard, which she still uses, and reminded her fingers of the scales she’d learned as a child. At her final high school talent show, she had a hushed and expectant community audience and standing ovation. As her 2008 graduating class planned their summer before college, she recorded a demo and made concert bookings.

 

With Michiana layoffs, economic downturn and the housing crash, Adrienne’s father Drew turned to trucking. He was on the road much while Adrienne and her mother Joy finished their concert season. Adrienne’s generation was faced with challenges for which they had no experience: devastating losses and disappointments, domestic violence, substance abuse, and terminal illness. She uploaded songs to internet sites and got radio airplay. In November 2008 she was asked by Al Kniola (Host, The Back Porch, WVPE 88.1 FM, Elkhart, NPR) to be among nine artists at the University of Notre Dame to mark Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday.

 

The song uploads were noticed. In March 2009 Folkalley.com named her Featured Open Mic Artist for that month. She was "already displaying real depth as a singer/songwriter...from the tiny town of Milford, IN (halfway between Ft. Wayne and South Bend) Frailey would get our vote any day" (folkalley.com, alley chat, 3/2009). "It was a tremendous opportunity for my music to gain exposure. There were days that eight of ten ‘Open Mic’ songs being played at any hour were mine. I am very grateful to Folk Alley for the doors they opened and the encouragement I received from all over." All month "Wasteland" was played in the Folk Alley podcast just before Roger McQuinn.

 

Left: Bruce Bartlett of Bartlett Audio (Bartlett Recording), Right: Adrienne Frailey (March 2010) 

 

This encouragement spurred her to schedule sixteen weeks at Bartlett Recording with Bruce Bartlett (Bartlett Microphones). Bruce developed microphones at Shure and Crown (including industry-standard headworn CM311A). With his wife Gen he has written eight manuals, and 900 articles/reviews in audio magazines. Bruce said, "I have never been so affected emotionally by anyone I’ve recorded in 30 years...Adrienne writes songs of rare beauty and sophistication...I think she has a great future in writing musical soundtracks for cinema. Adrienne's also a skilled arranger with a golden ear—she knows exactly what she wants to hear."

 

Her debut CD Goodnight to the Stars—self-produced, released July 2009—was a goodbye to familiar life as we’ve known it, but with hope. Her piano ballad "Beneath the Spotlight," a love ballad born of that hope, was hailed as "better than Broadway" by Bartlett. Goodnight made The Back Porch list of "40 Top Albums of 2009." Al Kniola said, "Adrienne Frailey is a truly extraordinary talent. Her vocals are soulful and captivating; her lyrics and music are packed with meaning and emotion. You just want to listen to her forever." (Later Goodnight also made "Faves of 2011" at Folk Festival, WDCB 90.9-FM, NPR, College of DuPage, IL.)

 

Adrienne received a surprise invitation from JAM Entertainment—to deliver a singing telegram and balloons to WNDU 93FM radio station to promote the January 2010 season premiere of American Idol. (South Bend, like Las Vegas, was a target metro area where a local singer was scouted and picked for this media blitz.) That same week she recorded an hour-uncut concert at PMN (Public Media Network), Kalamazoo, for their cable show Hometown Pickin'. In March she was also featured in Riely O’Connor's Songwriters Spotlight Show.

 

Since Summer 2010

In summer 2010, Adrienne received an invitation from fellow youtube artist Kaleb Nation to create a full-length album inspired by his second bookBran Hambric: The Specter Key. She composed a digital 16-track CD called The Key, released the same day as the novel, 10/10/ 10 and featured in the book trailer. Michiana Irish musician joHn Kennedy played Irish whistle and bouzouki for "Dying Breath," her Celtic piano lullabye. "Talented people like Adrienne Frailey remind me why I like writing..The Key is amazing," tweeted Nation. "It sounds like something that might be on a Bran Hambric movie soundtrack...Adrienne continues to amaze me with her talent...I’ve listened to this [track Dying Breath] a half dozen times already. I love it :D—Kaleb Nation.

 

 

Nation also used some of Adrienne’s earlier instrumental music for Inside the Beautiful Darkness—his fall 2010 documentary on his book tour partners, New York Times best-selling authors of Beautiful Darkness (and Beautiful Creatures, due to be a movie 2/14/13).

 

Left: Norm Mast, Right: Al Kniola (of The Back Porch

 

Adrienne’s 2011 CD Definitely was recorded spring 2011 and released on 9/10/11. It was the only local Michiana artist named in "30 Top Albums of 2011" by The Back Porch. "Adrienne Frailey is a major talent. Her latest album Definitely is clear proof of that. Her beautiful lyrics could stand alone as poetry, her voice is a lovely blend of velvet and soul, and her melodies and arrangements are captivating. This is an album that deserves, and will receive, repeated play by all who own it until it simply wears out."—Al Kniola

 

"How did I get so lucky to be Adrienne's recording engineer? Not only is she an amazing singer blessed with a warm, lovely voice; she creates these beautifully crafted songs."—Bruce Bartlett (2011)

C 2016, Stormcall Music 

“I don’t normally listen to this kind of music but was curious. This is

 

brilliant.”—Wales
“Adrienne brings out such emotion in us,” concert listener, Three Rivers, MI. 
“Adrienne Frailey is a truly extraordinary talent. Her vocals are soulful and
captivating; her lyrics and music are packed with meaning and emotion. You just want
to listen to her forever.”--Al Kniola, Host, “The Back Porch,” 2009 (WVPE, 88.1 FM,
NPR)
 A self-taught guitarist since age eleven, by her listeners Adrienne is commonly
compared to Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones, or Carole King. She took up keyboard in
August of 2007, on a 1998 Roland E-500. Often between 2-4 a.m. is when inspiration
comes, often rendering a completed song in 3-5 hours. With her 150+ copyrighted
songs and youtube channel, Adrienne is releasing her third CD Definitely on her
22nd birthday, 9-10-2011. 
The soul of Adrienne’s vocals is what catches some. The soul of her instrumentals is
what snares others—from Arkansas to Chile to Dublin to the Netherlands—even the
Australian bush. 
“Your music appeals across different religious backgrounds AND music categories,”
said a 58-year-old listener.
“I don't think there's any song that you couldn't do better than anyone who's ever
done it.”—teen
As a teen Adrienne began songwriting, singing, and attending open mics—sometimes
solo and sometimes with her parents. For festivals she had a Victorian ensemble and
1850s Western garb to sing 300-year-old songs she was pretty sure few of her
classmates had never heard. Her classmates had heard her sing, however. She
performed her first original song at her Milford (Indiana) Middle School talent
contest in 2002 and took first place. Someone yelled, "Adrienne, you rock!" What an
esteem booster for seventh grade. “Middle school is the toughest audience you'll
ever have,” she knew. “I began to write songs seriously at that point. All the
encouragement of my friends and classmates has meant a lot to me.” 
Some in the community still remember her slot in her final talent show at Wawasee
High School, when she stepped onstage to a hushed and expectant audience—who by now
had come to anticipate from her. The song she gave them had many wiping away tears
before they gave her a standing ovation.  
As many of her classmates looked to their final summer before college, Adrienne
wrote twenty more concert bookings on her calendar. Instead of moving into a dorm,
she moved monitors. She recorded and began getting radio airplay. She jumped into
the worldwide web and uploaded some original songs. In November 2008 she was asked
to be among nine Michiana acts who performed at the University of Notre Dame to mark
Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday. 
Her surprise of being noticed and named Folk Alley’s “Open Mic Featured Artist” for
March 2009--was tucked between their February artist (Australia) and April’s artist
(Nova Scotia). Two weeks into March, numb with meds from just having her wisdom
teeth out, she visited the folkalley.com site at 1:00 a.m.. “There was my picture
and link on their home page! It was a tremendous opportunity for my music to gain
exposure. There were days that eight of ten ‘Open Mic’ songs being played at any
given hour on the planet were mine. I am very grateful to Folk Alley for the doors
they opened for me and for the encouragement I received from all over.” Her song
“Wasteland,” written when she was sixteen, was played all month in the FA podcast.
“A very pleasurable experience to listen to such a beautiful voice.”—TF, musician,
Edinbugh, Scotland) 
“Just barely out of high school, Adrienne Frailey is displaying real depth as a
singer/songwriter. She...fought through stage fright by performing as a family band
with her parents...from the tiny town of Milford, IN (halfway between Ft. Wayne and
South Bend), Frailey would get our vote any day.” (alley chat, folk alley.com, March
2009) 
One listener in Texas who heard Frailey’s  music was young radio
announcer/blogger/composer/author Kaleb Nation: “Wow! I love this music by Adrienne
Frailey. Listen to ‘Catastrophe’ first. Wish I could compose like this!” (Twitter,
5/4/09). 
First CD Goodnight to the Stars (07-09-09)
Such positive feedback pushed Adrienne to finish her first full CD. In July 2009 she
released her self-produced, all-original Goodnight to the Stars.  
Adrienne feels blessed to have one of the best as her engineer. Goodnight was
recorded, mixed and mastered at Bartlett Recording in Elkhart. Bruce Bartlett
(Bartlett Microphones) also developed microphones at Shure and Crown (including the
industry-standard headworn CM311A), He has written 900 articles and revews in audio
industry magazines. He and his wife Jenny have written eight recording books.
Bartlett says, “Adrienne writes songs of rare beauty and sophistication. Her pure,
tender voice could melt peoples’ hearts.” During recording months he blogged to her
Folk Alley listeners, “I have never been so affected emotionally by anyone I’ve
recorded in 30 years. I think she has a great future in writing musical soundtracks
for cinema.”
How did I get so lucky to be Adrienne's recording engineer? Not only is she an
amazing singer blessed with a warm, lovely voice; she creates these beautifully
crafted songs. —Bruce Bartlett
While Goshen’s brick alleys were exactly the places Frailey envisioned for her CD
shoot, “What I didn’t think about were the big spiders that come out at night. I
wanted this setting so much I just tried to stay away from them.” Longtime friend
and photographer Heather Holdeman captured Adrienne in this local backdrop at dusk.
Fellow musicians Bev Smith and Kevin Kyle were also featured on this CD.
“OMG, I cried like a baby listening to this song [Track 8, A World I’m Not Afraid
Of]. I loved every minute of this song and I didn't want the song to end. Where can
I get it? I gotta have this song!”—27-yr-old, US 
“How wonderful and amazing and beautiful this song is. 5/5.”—teen, Germany
“I’m so entranced by Catastrophe I’ve shared it...I’ll be researching your work now,
seeking out your music CDs...”—JH, South Carolina, US
  “I can’t wait to buy the album. California would love to have you.”—teen
Goodnight was played by Goshen’s radio 91.1 The Globe and named by “The Back Porch”
co-hosts Al Kniola and Norm Mast in their Top Albums  of 2009.
In December 2009 Adrienne received a surprise invitation from JAM
Entertainment—offering her an opportunity to deliver a singing telegram to South
Bend’s WNDU 93FM radio station to promote the January 2010 season premiere of
American Idol. (South Bend, like Las Vegas, was a target metro area where a local
singer was scouted and picked for this media blitz.) She delivered tee shirts,
balloons, and sang a jingle about the show’s new season.
That same week she recorded an hour-long, uncut concert at PMN (Public Media
Network) of Kalamazoo for their show Hometown Pickin' on their Southwest Michigan
cable stations. She was featured in Riely O’Connor's Songwriters Spotlight Show in
South Bend in March 2010.
Second CD: The Key (10-10-10, digital only)
Talented people like Adrienne Frailey remind me why I like writing in Bran Hambric’s
world. “The Key” is amazing.—Kaleb Nation, via twitter
“It sounds like something that might be on a Bran Hambric movie soundtrack..Adrienne
continues to amaze me with her talent and the stuff she creates...I’ve listened to
this [“Dying Breath”] a half dozen times already. I love it. :D                     
                                                       —Kaleb Nation
In June 2010, Adrienne received an invitation to create a full-length album inspired
by Kaleb Nation's sequel, Bran Hambric: The Specter Key., a sci-fi mystery for
junior-high-age readers. Within 48 hours of receiving her advance reader copy, she
had finished writing the mostly-instrumental scene tracks. By the release date, the
music had been featured in Nation's online video blogs as well as his official
trailer. This 16-track digital CD was released the same day as the novel. Adrienne
notes that without Nation's talents as an author, her music would not be the same
and that The Key would of course not exist. 
Wow! You got the actual Kaleb Nation to both comment and to become obsessed with
this song?!—Youtube listener
“I absolutely have no more words for this [“Into the Moors”]. Perfection is not good
enough,” said one listener. 
•                        Really awesome and your clear voice brought up some goosebumps while listening
to it! [“Dying Breath”]—Germany, age 36 
I LOVE your music ...I sing your song “Dying Breath" to my baby. It's so beautiful.
Thanks so much for putting these up.—from the Bush, Australia, age 21  
Nation has since used some of Adrienne’s music in Inside the Beautiful Darkness—his
exclusive fall 2010 tour documentary about the authors of the New York Times
best-sellers Beautiful Darkness and Beautiful Creatures. 
Definitely, the newest CD (9-10-11)
Where Goodnight had a deliberate Indie-pop feel, her eighteen (18) genre-crossing
songs in Definitely cover Americana, Adult Indie/Contemporary. Folk/Alternative, and
Celtic styles. Photographs were shot by friend Emily (Leismer) Swihart in historic
Syracuse, Indiana.
These tracks carry the listener through a 74-minute journey across her native
Midwest fields, as well as New Orleans, tragic and violent 15th Century France, the
darker side of the soul, and of course—escape and romance. Adrienne wrote, arranged,
produced, sang all vocals and did nearly all her own instrumentation for the CD,
while Bruce Bartlett adds percussion and bass. “Dying Breath,” re-released from The
Key, features joHn Kennedy (Kennedy’s Kitchen) on Irish whistle and bouzouki.
I was so blown away [by “Dying Breath”]. I am the mother of a little girl. Together
we have a hard life and not much outside of my daughter touches my heart anymore.
Your music on the other hand has greatly affected me and I want to thank you for
putting yourself out there for someone like me to be touched by.                  
—a mother 
Adrienne’s mother Joy Frailey played  harmonica on “Feathers.” Father Drew Frailey
plays a second lead blues guitar on “Talk About an Angel.” Drew also adds bass on
the Celtic-style tragic ballad, “Lilian,” Adrienne’s historical fiction (circa
France 1440 AD) about a young girl who refuses to be taken to the castle of the
notorious serial killer Gilles de Rais. 
 “Adrienne Frailey” is a major talent. Her latest album Definitely is clear proof of
that. Her beautiful lyrics could stand alone as poetry, her voice is a lovely blend
of velvet and soul, and her melodies and arrangements are captivating. This is an
album that deserves, and will receive, repeated play by all who own it until it
simply wears out...” —Al Kniola
Presence in the worldwide web
Adrienne’s most-played youtube song to date is her Twilight-inspired “Jacob’s Kiss,”
which has had over 230,000 hits and has drawn acclaim from listeners all over,
including Greece, Italy and Romania. “Where can I get this song? All of your songs,
really...”
Adrienne’s personal internet channel is a model to fellow musicians, and has been
noticed by listeners all over who have asked permission to use her music for various
school/college projects and festivals by fans in many countries. She posts vlogs
from her concerts. Most often she sings to her listeners and subscribers an original
song unamplified. Or she sings an old ballad, like the Irish “Down by the Glenside,”
to which she received this response: “I am from Ireland and I think this is one of
the best versions of this song I have heard! thanks keep it up. Slan!” Her
arrangement of “Cherokee Dream,” (written by her mother Joy Frailey), was lauded by
wikihow.com. along with songs by Yael Naim and U2, as good yoga playlist music.
Musical influences, musical family
 Adrienne is a fourth-generation musician with German, Scottish, English and
Cherokee roots. Her paternal grandmother was a classical pianist. Her maternal
grandmother played weekly in Tennessee live radio with a family band. “I thank God
for all the opportunities He’s given me.  I got my music ear from Mom’s side, and
my long fingers from Dad. The biggest influences and inspirations in my music (and
my entire life) are my parents and my sister Andrea. They have supported me through
everything. I can never truly thank them enough.” 
 “Thanks to Mom and Dad and literally several hundred of their concerts they dragged
me to [she smiles as her eyes roll], I like many types of music.” Her likes
represent a wide range—from Ted Nugent to Jeremy Camp, Enya to Bonnie Raitt. Her
playlists include Skillet, AC/DC, the Beatles, George Thorogood, Harvey Reid, Bon
Jovi, Sufjan Stevens, Christophe Beck, Hans Zimmer, Yanni, Andrew Lloyd Webber;
Keane, and Adele. She regrets that she never got to see Frank Sinatra, Elvis or Nat
"King" Cole. 
“But I'd have to say my absolute favorites are Sarah McLachlan and Dolly Parton.
Those women, as well as Loreena McKennitt and Alison Krauss, have true business
savvy and talent. I'd love to meet them someday.”
Adrienne and her parents Drew and Joy are also performing members of Riversong Music
Society (St. Joseph, Michigan). “Adrienne’s ability as a composer/lyricist/singer is
remarkable,” writes Dee Bennett, RMS Secretary/Communications Coordi

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