Working Girl's Guitar

Rosie Flores

Bloodshot Records, 2012

http://rosieflores.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/23/2013

This is an aptly titled album: Latin-influenced guitar hero Rosie Flores has been a busy woman since her band Screamin' Sirens dissolved. Starting in the mid '80s, Flores has released a solo album every couple years and spent plenty of time on stages, though mainstream audiences have somehow never welcomed her intelligently crafted songs and intricate guitar work. Regardless, Flores does what she does best, releasing music under the radar to devoted fans who appreciate her use of blues, country, rockabilly, and surf ideas into her timeless sound. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

First and foremost, this is a guitar driven album. Lead off track “Working Girl's Guitar” is a blast of sophisticated rock with Flores' flawless voice illuminating this stadium big anthem. From there, “Little But I'm Loud” brings the pace down a bit; it’s a bluesy, country-rock tune that hints at what's the come down the line. By the third and longest track “Yeah Yeah,” we're introduced to one of Flores' many strong points: her pensive balladry. Her delicate, stripped down songs are so well executed, it's amazing she hasn't become a household name on this aspect of her songwriting alone. Fortunately for us, this balladry reappears on the heartfelt “Love Must Have Passed Me By.”

Despite her very accomplished vocal work, Flores opts for an instrumental track with the surf-rock influenced “Surf Demon #5.” She does pay some homage to the greats, covering Janis Martin's “Drugstore Rock And Roll,” which results in an oldies meets rockabilly tune that wouldn't have been out of place on the Stand By Me soundtrack. She closes the disc with a reworking of The Beatles' “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” adding her own twist on a classic with great results.

Though she's mostly well known in country music circles (she was the first Latina women to grace the Billboard Country Charts), this certainly isn't a disc strictly for fans of twang. Despite the similarities to Wanda Jackson, Flores also shows parallels to rock icons like Kim Deal, and the incredibly detailed guitar work is clearly on a level all its own. Soulful, sassy, and timeless, Rosie Flores is further proof that some things just get better with age.

Rating: A

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