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Ashleigh Flynn Tells Tales of Inspiring Women On New Album

You might be familiar with a few of the stories on Portland musician Ashleigh Flynn‘s new album, A Million Stars. You’ll find Calamity Jane and Prohibition Rose, Ma Rainey and Loretta Lynne. She describes her music as “tomboy Americana.” Her latest release has many collaborators, including Todd Snider and others, and was produced by Chris Funk from The Decemberists and Black Prairie.

“The barometer was ‘let’s have a lot of fun and be kind of loose,’ ” Flynn told Think Out Loud’s Allison Frost about the recording process.

courtesy Ashleigh Flynn Music

The idea for the album came from chancing upon a painting of a cowgirl under a night sky by Flynn’s young niece, which became the cover art. She says she saw herself in the cowgirl and then started thinking about her connections to those other women from legend and real life.

“Who are the icons for somebody like her, and really, somebody like me?” says Flynn. “I discovered all these really colorful women that were part of the frontier, and I got inspired, and tried to build songs around them.”

You can see Ashleigh Flynn in person when she performs at Wallace Park for the Portland Parks Summer Concerts on July 11, and at the Oregon Country Fair July 12 and 13.

Listen to Think Out Loud’s full conversation with Ashleigh Flynn.

Ashleigh Flynn singer-songwriter

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Black Prairie formed in 2007 when three Decemberists - Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee and Nate Query - were looking for an acoustic outlet while on-tour. When they returned home to Portland, they recruited Jackstraw guitarist Jon Neufeld, fiddler Annalisa Tornfelt and more recently drummer John Moen. Six years and two CDs later, Black Prairie gives these busy musicians a home-grown place to just play.