The bluegrass mixes with the evergreen in the music of singer-songwriter Ashleigh Flynn. The Kentucky-born performer built her musical foundation in Louisville, but crafted her career in the Pacific-Northwest.
From Kentucky, Charles Compton has this profile.
Ashleigh Flynn slipped slowly into songwriting. Her journey began alongside her father — following him to bluegrass and country-western concerts on Louisville’s riverfront.
She didn’t pick up a guitar until high school and didn’t sing in front of an audience until college.
Ashleigh Flynn: “It just is a great release, at least it was for me. And, then it started to evolve into songwriting and that totally hooked me. It was like such a great exercise and practice to write songs and sing them.”
At first there were open-mike nights. Then she got a gig singing every Thursday night at a coffee shop. Flynn started touring, played some big concerts and produced a CD.
Her career was on an upward swing, but, somewhere inside, she doubted her success. So, shortly after her move to Portland, Oregon, where she was near family, the musician backed away from her professional career.
Ashleigh Flynn: “I spent a couple years living in the woods, working. I did the AmeriCorps program and I was working for the forest service and I lived in a little cabin, by a river. And, it was there that I really started writing a lot. And I think it had a lot to do with a lack of distraction and I think that’s really when I became a songwriter.”
That time in the wilderness helped Flynn merge her Kentucky musical roots with the values she discovered in Oregon. Rather than compromise her message, the marriage put her message into focus.
Ashleigh Flynn: “We’re here to love each other and to be good to one another and to try and bring healing to places that need them, including the physical environment”.
Her next career step, says the song writer, is getting her compositions in front of other artists, hoping they’ll perform her songs and broaden their appeal.
That, says Flynn, is an area of the music industry she needs to explore.
Meanwhile, her work continues on a CD that should be out later this year. And this spring, Flynn does a series of concerts in Italy.