(A version of this review which includes sample tracks aired Wednesday, October 17, 2012 KUSP 88.9 fm)
Austin rockabilly queen Rosie Flores lets her guitar do the talking on the title track of her fun new album, Working Girl’s Guitar. On the second track, Flores even lets her amp have a say with the delightful double entendres of “Little But Proud”.
At 33 minutes long, Working Girl’s Guitar is a tad short on tracks but not substance. Flores covers a lot of musical ground here mixing up vintage billy, blues, surf music and girl groups. She closes the album with a touching acoustic cover of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Weeps For Me”. It’s Flores’ version of “Drugstore Rock and Roll” that really gets the party started. This song was written by one of Flores’ girl rockabilly idols, the late Janis Martin, who she befriended in the 90′s. Martin was known as “the Female Elvis” back in the 1950′s and had a string of hits but left the music biz after her second husband demanded she quit in 1961.
Flores tracked Martin down and helped her stage a recent comeback. Flores produced Martin’s posthumous album The Blanco Sessions released in September.
Flores has also toured and recorded with another legendary woman of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson.
Now let’s get back to Flores’ new album Working Girls Guitar. The guitarist started out in the late ’70′s with her raucous all girl cowpunk band, The Screaming Sirens. Those days are just a memory as Flores has long since mellowed as evidenced by the soft and sweetness and 60′ish girl group vibes of “Yeah Yeah Yeah”.
Despite many albums and tours and working with obscure to slightly well known rockabilly artists, Rosie Flores has always remained one of those under the radar types. Working Girl’s Guitar just might change that.
MORE ROSIE FLORES:
Flores recently appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition to talk about working with the late Janis Martin: http://www.npr.org/2012/09/30/161968431/janis-martin-the-female-elvis-returns
There is an excellent PBS documentary on women rockabilly artists of the 1950′s called Welcome to the Club: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/welcometotheclub/index.html
ROSIE FLORES VIDEO: