Ashleigh Flynn


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Ashleigh Flynn and her collaborators have combined the best elements of folk and rock to create an evocative soundscape on Chokecherry. The lyrics to songs like "Borrow" and "Isa" may say "singer/songwriter," but the Wurlitzers, electric guitars, and drums that back them up say "pop/rock." The arrangements vary quite a bit from song to song, jumping from the vinyl samples on "Don't You Believe" to the lap steel of the title cut. Parts of "Carry Me" border on noisy rock, while "Choke Cherry" verves close to alternative country. This sonic diversity guarantees that the listener never allows the album to fade into the background. The pop/rock arrangements, with a heavy rhythmic underpinning, also provide lots of cushion for Flynn's warm, resonant vocals. A number of players -- bassist Leila Chieko, drummer Brian West, and guitarist Chris Funk -- provide steady support on Chokecherry, while Nancy Hess' mix makes sure they all sound great. The last three songs -- "Undertow," "Evermore," and "Everything" -- bring the album to a satisfying conclusion. While the album -- at 40 minutes -- may seem a bit short by CD standards, many listeners will prefer ten solid songs over filler. With pleasant vocals, good songs, and a wonderful sound, Chokecherry should receive a warm welcome from the alternative folk crowd.

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