Rosie Flores

Dance Hall Dreams

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Cut from the same mold as Rose Maddox and Wanda Jackson, Rosie Flores is a 100-percent-for-real honky tonk gal and this album brings it out every bit as well as her '80s debut, reissued with bonus tracks on Rounder as Honky Tonk Reprise. Partially recorded live at Cibolo Creek Country Club in San Antonio, TX, Flores brings a batch of great originals to the mix with a band featuring Cindy Cashdollar on steel guitar and slide, drummer Donald Lindley, keyboardist Justin Reinhardt, and the estimable Sarah Brown on bass, highlighted by her own spot-on-the-money lead guitar work. This is no retro paint-by-numbers album, although tracks like the opening "Little Bit More," "'59 Tweedle Dee," and "It Came From Memphis" summon up that traditional vibe nicely. But in the main, Flores' well-crafted originals carry the day and her sound right into the new millennium nicely, with "We'll Survive," "From Where I Stand," "Tremolo," and her heartfelt tribute to her father, "Who's Gonna Fix It Now," being every bit as fine as any contemporary country that makes the airwaves. Her duet with Radney Foster on "Bring It On" and her version of Jackson's "Funnel of Love" (the only cover tune on here, by the way) are two more solid reasons to add this one to the collection. As nice of a contemporary traditionalist country album as you'll likely to find.

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