Rosie Flores - Working Girl's Guitar
Record Label: Bloodshot
Release Date: Oct. 16, 2012
Rosie Flores is the self-described "rockabilly filly," and that moniker is certainly worn well on her latest album Working Girl's Guitar. Whether its the rattling title track, the feisty "Little But I'm Loud," or the six-minute ballad "Yeah Yeah," the disc's opening triumvirate has few if any stumbles. Of the three, "Yeah Yeah," shines the brightest and evokes memories of John Sayles' seminal classic Lone Star. Steamy, seductive and definitely San Antonian, "Yeah Yeah," is a gorgeous song and one of Working Girl's Guitar's highlights.
When rockabilly is done well it is as addictive and invigorating as anything else out there and the instrumental "Surf Demon #5" is veritable proof of that. Swerving and ducking with a confidence and swagger that only a Texan can provide, the song glides effortlessly along a rising organ and a snappy bass. The sun-drenched "Drug Store Rock n' Roll," is arguably the disc's most accessible song and feels more akin to the 1950s and 1960s than than of 2012. That small fact should not go unnoticed. These days it seems everyone is trying to be vintage, but very few are actually succeeding. The magic of "Drug Store Rock n' Roll," is that it works and sounds one-hundred percent authentic.
For all the charms of "Yeah Yeah," the tender ballad "Love Must Have Passed Me By," is the real home run and has a touching grace that is both deeply affecting and deeply heartbroken. Kicking things up a notch, Flores snaps and sizzles on the barn-burner "Too Much." At this point in the disc, the singer-songwriter has only had a few chances to flex her guitar muscle and "Too Much," provides her the chance to show off what she can do. No stranger to the limelight, she basques in the opportunity and carries the song home.
The old-school vibe of "Drug Store Rock n' Roll," is revisited in the siren song "If (I Could Be With You)," a first-rate ballad that seems tailor made for a roadhouse saloon. As if the song was her last will and testament, Flores lays it all on the line and channels her inner Betty LaVette. With a running time of three-minutes, the song is ultimately too short and leaves the listener wanting far more. Truth be told, Flores could probably have written ten more songs just like this and the disc would have just been as strong, if not more so.
Working Girl's Guitar ends with her take on George Harrison's ubiquitous "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and while its strong and steady, it feels a weird way to end the disc. The song could have easily been placed in the middle of the disc and the powerful, no-holds barred "If (I Could Be With You)," could have been placed at the end. Regardless of this, the disc still holds up well and Flores certainly makes a justifiable name for herself.
While country music press (and even some Top 40 radio stations) champion Miranda Lambert for her spunk, zest and exuberance, the fact of the matter is plenty of female singer-songwriters have just as much spunk, zest or exuberance. Rosie Flores is no exception. Working Girl's Guitar is proof of that.