By Scott Mims
You could say Adreane Barrington and her 12-year-old daughter, Maddy, are following in the footsteps of The Judds.
The mother-daughter duo performs regularly across Chilton County singing predominantly gospel and country music.
Wherever their harmonies are heard, it is usually not for the sake of the music itself, but to benefit a good cause.
“She’s going to be Wynonna because she’s going to sing stronger and louder than me,” said Adreane, who has sang in front of crowds since she was her daughter’s age.
It was at age 6 when Maddy’s voice was first discovered. She sang a solo in the children’s choir at West End Baptist Church, and choir director Eddie Lightsey took notice. The first song she sang in public was “When Mama Fixed a Lunch.”
Adreane said she never forced her daughter to sing with her; it just happened naturally.
“From that point on, we just started buying songs and she just falls in with us,” she said.
Maddy is a third generation singer, as her grandmother, Judy Headley, was always involved in family singings. Headley is a music director at New Cedron Church.
“Growing up, every Saturday night we would have a singing at someone’s house,” Adreane recalled. “We just picked up where she left off.”
Her mother, with her red hair, has been mistaken for country singer Reba McEntire, and it’s not at all surprising that the songs of Reba are among the Barrington’s favorites. Other favorites are gospel numbers such as “I Am Who He Says I Am.”
The duo sings at mostly church events but also performs at charity gospel singings. Venues have included the Peach Jam Jubilee, American Red Cross benefit singings, Chilton County Relay For Life, United Way, Family Sunshine Center (domestic violence benefit), Chilton County Chamber of Commerce Banquet, Chilton County Fair, the Central Alabama Gospel Music Barn (or the Blue Barn), church homecomings, Hatley Health Care, Distinguished Young Woman (formerly Junior Miss), Farm City Banquet, Clanton Tree Lighting, Pumpkin Patch, and the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run.
Adreane indicated that one of the most rewarding things is singing for patients at Hatley Health Care.
“They just smile when you sing. That’s what it’s all about,” she said.
At local benefit singings, emcee Lloyd Nutter gave Maddy the job of collecting donations from those in attendance.
“I know we’re doing a good thing for people,” Maddy said.
Maddy has never had voice lessons but has taken piano for three years. She was recognized in the May-June 2013 edition of the magazine “Clavier’s Piano Explorer” along with her teacher, Kathy Elder, for playing 100 days straight.
“We even took a keyboard so she could play while on vacation,” Adreane said.
Maddy was named Young Miss Chilton County in 2010 and appeared at grand openings, parades and the Governor’s Mansion.
The mother-daughter pair looks at their singing as their way of giving back to the community.
“I’m not a speaker, a preacher or a teacher. This is our way of giving back to the community,” Adreane said. “We don’t think about why we sing. It’s just what we do.”
Adreane and her husband, Jerome, also have an 8-year-old son, Sawyer.