Ashleigh Flynn,
A Million Stars
(Home Perm, 2013)

Ashleigh Flynn offers up music in a variety of styles in tribute to the women of the westward expansion.

A Kentucky native, Flynn grew up on bluegrass and pays homage to that tradition with "Dirty Hands & Dirty Feet," the second track in this collection. The twang is still there when she wants it, but Flynn has matured to an Oregon-based award-winning cross-genre singer-songwriter who performs regularly at music festivals across the country, on radio and in opening shows for such renowned names as John Hiatt and Shawn Colvin.

Inspiration for the album was a painting by a young niece (depicted on the cover of the album), which prompted her to launch a musical journey to learn more about women like herself who found themselves in the American West.

The album includes 11 original songs dedicated to women known and unknown who helped make the history of the west. A 12th track is Ma Rainey's "Prove It on Me." There isn't a bad song in the mix. Some personal favorites would be the jazzy "Prohibition Rose," "See That Light," "Rainy Days" and "New Angel in Heaven."

Flynn is featured on lead vocals, guitar and kazoo. Chris Funk, who produced the album, joins in on a variety of instruments, and Todd Snider, her musical mentor, is heard on "See That Light." Additional backup is provided by Annalisa Tornfelt, fiddle, vocals and strings; John Moen, drums; Nate Query, bass; Jesse Emerson, bass; Greg Schochet, mandolin; Lara Michele and Jen Bernard, vocals; Steve Drizos, percussion; Gregg Williams, tambourine; Sam Yale, banjo; Victor Nash, trumpet, trombone and French horn; Tristan Forney, tuba, and Gary Guenther, clarinet.

With this, her fourth album, Flynn has proven herself an artist to watch.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
John Lindermuth

5 October 2013

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