Monday, November 12, 2007
Ashleigh Flynn Performing Tuesday
If you're in Portland, Oregon this week you're in luck. Ashleigh Flynn will be performing at Mississippi Studios on Tuesday at 8pm with Antje Duvekot. Tickets are $10-12. If you haven't seen a performance in this venue, you are in for a treat. It's very intimate and has great acoustics. And if you haven't seen Ashleigh perform you're in double luck. She's fantastic! Check it out. Details below:
Tuesday, 11/13: 8pm - $10/$12
Ashleigh Flynn hails from Kentucky where she grew up foot stomping along the Ohio River as the steamboats and barges made their way to the muddy Mississippi . A songwriter of exceptional emotional depth and intelligence, Flynn is also an electrifying performer blessed with unbridled charisma and the voice of a fallen angel.
Flynn performed at the 2004 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival as a chosen emerging artist, and has performed at Bumbershoot, NxNW, NW Music Fest, Nashville New Music Festival, NEMO, Oregon Country Fair, GoGirls SxSW Showcase, Willamette Valley Folk Festival, Oregon Zoo, Seattle Zoo, Vancouver BC New Music Festival.
Flynn has toured with Willy Porter, Erin McKeown, Ellis Paul, Great Big Sea , and Jerry Joseph. On her home turf (Pacific NW) Flynn has shared stages with Joan Baez, Nancy Griffith, Jonatha Brooke, Wilco, David Wilcox, Chris Smither, Chris Pureka, Melissa Ferrick, Michelle Malone, and Tegan and Sarah, among others, primarily at the Oregon Zoo and the Aladdin Theatre.
In addition, she has earned accolades in the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase, Great American Song Contest, and the Willamette Valley Folk Fest New Song contest.
"Antje Duvekot's provocative, dark-eyed ballads are becoming the talk of the folk world." ~ The Boston Globe
"I think she's going to be the next great American folk singer-songwriter." ~ Songwriting star Ellis Paul.
Solas was putting its career on the line. The Irish supergroup had risen to international stardom with its Celtic repertoire; but it would now release an entire CD of works by contemporary songwriters. They spent months hunting for just the right songs. As Solas founder Seamus Egan recalls now, "We knew it became much less risky if we had great songs."
"The Edge of Silence" was a critical and commercial triumph, and both Billboard and the Irish Echo said the CD's clear highlight was the writing of an obscure German-American songwriter named Antje Duvekot. Based on the quality of her writing, Solas' founder, Seamus Egan produced Duvekot's first major studio CD, "Big Dream Boulevard."
It is hard to recall when a fledgling folk songwriter has been more highly touted by her musical peers. Legendary producer Neil Dorfsman, who produced "Edge of Silence," and CDs by Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Dire Straits, says, "Her songs are stunning paintings of color and shade, and always generate the heat and light that real art should."
"Somehow, she's able to open the personal out to be universal," Egan says, "which most songwriters aren't able to do. You know, they're able to get one or the other, but not both. That's something that separates Antje from the rest."
But first, you notice the voice. Where so many songwriters stretch for their highest notes, hoping to impress and astound, Duvekot bravely mines her deep reaches, where the dark feelings lurk. It softens her phrasing, leading us in with whispers, letting us know she believes every word she sings. Her melodies seem like suddenly occurring thoughts, matching the hushed, conversational allure of her singing. They feel so immediate, so in synch with her lyrics; and yet also snugly rooted, oddly familiar, like memories you can't quite recall. She sings, and writes, as if she thinks songs are important; not as a means to an end, but as tools of survival. And for her, that's just what they are.
Duvekot was born in Heidelberg, Germany and moved to Delaware with her family at the age of thirteen. She refers to music as her "lifeboat" during this difficult relocation. She discovered the subterranean folk world of urban songwriters like Ellis Paul, John Gorka, and Ani DiFranco. She made little tapes of them, and listened while she wandered through her strange new world. As she told the Boston Globe in 2005, "The only time I was truly happy as a teenager was walking around the neighborhood, listening to my folk tapes." "My English wasn't so good yet," she recalls now, "but I just loved the kind of melancholy, solitary aspect of the songs. And I could tell that these people were saying something important. That was profound and meaningful to me, even before I knew just what it was they were saying. It was like these artists were actually talking to me, not just making sounds." Duvekot believes that her bicultural upbringing, and her relative newness to English, helped shape her unique way with a song. "When I came to America," she says, "I wasn't communicating very well to other people, just to myself through my art. And I think that's a different way, not as linear or analytical. I was just kind of making up my own guerilla English, my own way of saying things. I didn't understand the right slang and clich�s, so I made up my own. visit Antje's myspace