Adrienne Frailey is an independent, unsigned indie-folk / Americana singer-songwriter. Having performed over 500 gigs, she uses her Midwestern and Michiana roots to glide between songs old and new, exploring the human soul along the way. She has the ability to make "a centuries-old ballad as immediate and personal as a cover tune". Ligonier Advance Leader
Al Kniola, host of WVPE's The Back Porch, calls her a "truly extraordinary talent." In spring 2017, "The first thing I thought of was to invite Adrienne to share [the show] with me," said Al of their joint show at Plymouth's Wild Rose Moon. Plymouth Pilot News
Out-of-towner at first, but not a stranger always.
Born in Goshen, Indiana, Adrienne calls Milford home, and she has done so since the age of three. There are not a lot of ears in town except in the endless acres of surrounding cornfields. Musicians like her may not start out with big-town support, and so they simply adopt more hometowns. Her gigs have been at country clubs, annual and seasonal festivals, farmers' markets, showcases, wineries, breweries and restaurants, ballrooms and barns—typical fare for singer-songwriters. Yet some of the most unique fun for her are historical festivals like Stone's Trace and the Kendallville Apple Festival. She has played at other special events, including one for comedian Michael Palascak and another for US Congressman Marlin Stutzman.
Her voice gets attention. One day she was three blocks west of the house she'd lived in until age two, playing for a city event—four hours on a Victorian porch in a 100-degree heat index. One listener reviewed: "It was beastly hot… We walked down Division Street [Elkhart] and heard the voice of Adrienne. I was bowled over. I love music, and her voice is absolutely, exceptional…I don't even know how to describe her voice but it is absolutely amazing." WNIT-TV had her on Experience Michiana several times after an exec observed her that day. In 2017 Adrienne got a twitter shout-out from the Grammy-nominated band Nothing More for her cover of their song Go to War. "Love it! Cool artistic changes you made."
Three of her CDs have been honored in WVPE's Back Porch Top Albums of the Year. Sky was Inkfree News' pick for Indiana Homegrown Album of the Year in 2013. "An intimate, minimal, powerful Americana record from a very talented Milford gal. Frailey opted for a more stripped-down approach for her latest release, and wow, did it pay off. The re-imagined [Civil War] standards are a treat, but Frailey's originals, especially ‘Hole in the River’, are everything singer-songwriters should strive for." John Faulkner, Milford Mail Journal
As a fourth-generation musician, Adrienne always had music and instruments around the house. In middle school, she grabbed a guitar, learned to play and began writing songs. Taking up piano as well, she performed in talent shows at her school to combat her own stage fright. For graduation in 2008, she gifted a few classmates with demo CDs, sharing recordings of her earliest original material. Open mics were few and far between at the time, so she began uploading those tracks to the internet, and in March 2009, the world beyond became a little more reachable. She was chosen as an Open Mic Featured Artist in Folk Alley's Alleycast podcast, which noted she was "just barely out of high school [and] already displaying real depth as a singer/songwriter." With that encouragement, four months later came a CD release party for her debut album.
Shout-out for Bruce
While recording her first three CDs, Adrienne became a regular visitor to Bruce Bartlett's then-Elkhart studio, appreciative of his skill and an early user of his innovative microphones. "I have never been so affected emotionally by anyone I've recorded in 30 years… Adrienne writes songs of rare beauty and sophistication—a musician's musician!" he said. “BTW she sings perfectly in tune." Bruce has since moved to North Carolina, where his Bartlett Microphones are hand-made. Both her 2009 and 2011 CDs placed in Back Porch Top Albums. Definitely (2011) received airplay at stations in 44 states/Canada.
In 2012 she played at the Kent State Folk Festival and Cleveland's iconic (now closed) Barking Spider Tavern. The year 2013 saw a return trip to New York state, where she had a warm welcome back: “She puts on a great show and her voice is enchanting and thus remarkable…she is for real…actually totally and engulfingly remarkable. I completely agree with Al Kniola… when he states, ‘You just want to listen to her forever'." Nite-Line Magazine, Jamestown NY
Writing for a book release
Aside from music, Adrienne has many hobbies, including home gardening, bird watching, and books. In May 2010, she crossed internet paths with talented YA author and Youtube personality, Kaleb Nation. Nation was happily surprised by her original music inspired by his work, even making a video about the song “Dying Breath”. The song recording features Kennedy's Kitchen front man John (or joHn) Kennedy on Irish flute. Nation invited Adrienne to collaborate on the promotion of his next title, and later that year, a digital album for his Bran Hambric: The Specter Key was released in tandem with the book, much to the excitement of readers and listeners. In 2013, Adrienne had additional music for his new book Harken, to which Nation responded, “I think my favorite moment was when…#HARKEN became a trending topic on Twitter…Another favorite moment was when Adrienne Frailey recorded the song 'New Eyes', inspired by the book…[this song] fits the book so well, and this is what writers pretty much dream of happening.”
Getting back to the music
A semi-hiatus extended into a full respite during the pandemic, but like many artists, she has emerged from those years with an even bigger love for music and a passion to perform. If the time off has affected her in any way, it's only ripened her voice and seasoned her songwriting more than ever before. With a creative path headed purely forward, Adrienne is doing as she's always done: writing, playing, and singing her heart out.
Adrienne and Al perform @ the Wild Rose Moon (2017)
Live at Kendallville Apple Festival with mother, Joy Frailey (2018)
Experience Michiana segment @ Wellfield Botanic Gardens (2013)
Folk Alley 'Round Town @ the Kent State Folk Festival (2012)
Recording in Bruce Bartlett's Elkhart studio (2011)
Kaleb Nation's response to Adrienne's music (2010)
Single “New Eyes” inspired by Kaleb Nation's Harken (2013)
A multi-year returning artist @ Winter Blues in St. Joseph, MI (2012)
Sea of Glass, a traditional tune, revived and made her own (2013)