It was on that very hot day that WNIT’s Gordy Young learned of her. He’s had her on Experience Michiana several times since. Adrienne has the ability to make “a centuries-old ballad as immediate and personal as a cover tune.” (Ligonier Advance Leader). Andrew Calhoun, founder of Waterbug Records, describes Adrienne’s original ballads as “brave, affecting, honorable; she is just plain ‘tapped in.’ Lilian [is] a ballad as spare and gripping as any in the Child collection.”
But Adrienne is not stuck in the past. Back in the NOW, she recently got a Twitter shout-out from the San Antonio-based band Nothing More for her cover of their Billboard chart-topping song “Go to War.” They tweeted, “Love it! Cool artistic changes you made.”
Locally, Adrienne has played private receptions for Elkhart’s former Mayor Dick Moore, US Congressman Marlin Stuzman, and comedian Michael Palascak. She has been a repeat live performer for radio U93’s Roofsit.
Growing up and early internet presence
Growing up in tiny Milford—deep amid flat cornfields, just below the intersection of US 6 and IN15—Adrienne remembers music always around. Both her parents play. Then she heard Sarah McLachlan in middle school. She grabbed a guitar at home and began learning the instrument, writing songs by age twelve. Most venues and open mics were an hour away in any direction, though. She accompanied her parents on gigs and still chooses to add family harmony or Mom Joy’s harmonica/percussion on some numbers.
Al Kniola, Host of WVPE’s The Back Porch, met Adrienne when she was a teen. He likens her to the late Kate Wolf, with “a voice you never get tired of hearing.” In spring 2017, “The first thing I thought of was to invite Adrienne to share [the show] with me,” said Al of their joint gig at Plymouth’s Wild Rose Moon.
By the end of high school Adrienne had uploaded enough internet material that Folk Alley noticed. They showcased her in their March 2009 podcast as Open Mic Artist of the Month, noting that as a teen she was “already displaying real depth as a singer/songwriter.”
A mother from the Australian Bush was singing Adrienne’s Youtube melodies to her baby. “I have goosebumps all the way over here in Scotland! This is an awesome cover of a fantastic  song.” Such is the typical comment on her unplugged home video of “Down by the Glenside,” which has received over 23,000+ Youtube views. “There’s about 400 years of rebellion and risings emanating from your voice through this song. You’re one of the best traditional singers I have heard. You sure you’re not Irish?” asked an Irish viewer. (She IS a little Irish.)
Adrienne received a surprise invitation from California-based Jam Entertainment to deliver a singing telegram to South Bend's WNDU 93fm Radio to promote the January 2010 new season premiere of American Idol. South Bend was a target metro area where a local singer was scouted and picked for this media blitz to remind radio listeners. She delivered tee shirts and sang a jingle on-air about the show's new season. Delivering a dozen helium-filled balloons from the car to the station door on a 12-degree Indiana winter morning was not as easy.
While recording her first CDs, Bruce Bartlett was Elkhart-based before relocating Bartlett Microphones to NC. Adrienne became a regular visitor to his basement studio, appreciative of his genius and an early user of his innovations. “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.
Her 2009 and 2011 CDs placed in Back Porch Top Albums, receiving wider US airplay. “Definitely” (2011) received airplay in 44 States/Canada. Acoustic Pie (San Diego/ Live 365) noted, “of the new artists on the Top 20 List, Adrienne Frailey stands out.”
The years 2012-2013 saw 180 concerts and many miles on the road. On one return trip to New York State, Adrienne had a warm welcome: “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) Her shows included the Kent State Folk Festival “Around Town,” and Cleveland’s iconic Barking Spider Tavern.
Adrienne wrote and recorded a 2013 indie single for Los Angeles author/Youtube personality Kaleb Nation for his novel Harken. He 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....Adrienne continues to amaze me.”
“Reimagined standards” and new notice
Adrienne loves to perform Appalachian and traditional songs at historical events such as nearby Stone’s Trace and the Kendallville Apple Festival. After many requests, her next EP contained two songs from the Civil War era. It had four originals and a melody put to her uncle’s lyrics. This 2013 EP “I Would Be the Sky” was applauded by her hometown reviewer as “some of her most intimate songs to date...The lyrics will make you want to cry and sing along at the same time. ‘Hole in the River’ displays a true artist at the top of her game.” — Milford Mail Journal
It made the Back Porch’s Top Albums.
It made WBOI (Ft. Wayne) Meet the Music’s Top Ten Homegrown.
It made WDCB (Chicago) Folk Festival’s Fave Albums.
It was InkFreeNews’ pick for Indiana Homegrown Album of the Year 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 standards are a treat, but Frailey’s originals, especially ‘Hole in the River,’ are everything singer-songwriters should strive for.” (John Faulkner)
"Sky” received months of out-of-state radio airplay. Those two “re-imagined standards” held up, appearing next to or between tracks from names like John Prine, Hank Williams; Gillian Welch and James Taylor; Ralph Stanley and Dougie MacLean; Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell; Carolina Chocolate Drops and Arlo Guthrie.