Rosie Flores was born to late to be tagged "the Female Elvis," which is just as well. Although she's made her reputation singing and playing rockabilly, primitive R&B, and early rock-flavored tunes, she has a further-ranging taste than Elvis ever had, and has also written some of the best tunes in her repertoire. Girl of the Century is another strong outing from a woman with plenty of gems in her catalog. With the backing of the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Bloodshot's de facto house band, led by head Mekon Jon Langford, Flores turns in another collection of sassy, sizzling tunes that pay tribute to the roots of American music. Flores purrs her way through Memphis Minnie's "Chauffeur Blues" here titled simply "Chauffeur." "This Little Girl's Gone Rockin', a rockabilly gem from the '50s, swings like mad with some fine fretwork from Flores, Langford, and John Rice. "I Ain't Got You," Calvin Carter's 1956 hit for Billy Boy, later covered by the Yardbirds and Aerosmith, is transformed into a laid-back rockabilly number, and Johnny Cash's "Get Rhythm" is pure boogie-woogie with Tom Ray's standup bass supplying a big, fat bottom. Original tunes include Langford's "Halfway Home," a loping country tune with a hint of reggae in its rhythm, the sad tale of an underemployed wanderer who meets a sad fate at the hands of the cops marked by mournful fiddling by Rice, "This Cat's in the Doghouse" an exuberant rockabilly number with Flores turning in a spunky hiccoughing vocal, and the title track, an uncharacteristically somber country tune in waltz time with Langford's rippling bluesy piano complementing Flores' tortured lead vocal.
Girl of the Century Review
by j. poet