You’ve heard every tale that has ever been told so all that remains is in the telling. So if you’re a troubadour then you had better make sure that you’ve got a special way of getting that story across. That point seems lost on most of the tame and tawdry practitioners of Americana as they peddle their homogenous wares but not, it would appear, on Ashleigh Flynn.
Whilst she never walks far from the musical line she throws far more of herself into the mix than is the norm. Let’s consider “Dirty Hands and Feet” first. This song just reeks of conventionality to the point of being a pastiche of that good ole boy bluegrass sound. However, Ms Flynn’s words bring an urban feel or, more accurately, a big city sensibility that takes us away from faux sentimentality into a hard edged laconicism. Then there are a couple of fine steps back into the time machine with “Prohibition Rose” and “Prove It On Me” – originally by Ma Rainey - easing us away from any thoughts of cooking and cleaning being the sole aim of the female of the species. Points are also awarded for the gratuitous and courageous use of a kazoo in the latter song as that is still considered hanging offence in Texas.
The past is clearly not Ms Flynn’s only source of inspiration and it is hard to argue with the spirited “How The West Was Won” leading her creative forces right towards Nashville. Even the lyrics could inspire a cable movie as it would seem that girl power and check shirts can co-exist after all.
I you want the quick summary (and I’m sure that you do) then Ashleigh Flynn plays her cards well here but, just like an iceberg, there is a lot more to her below that polished surface of Americana.