Rosie Flores

Working Girl's Guitar

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In a better world, Rosie Flores would be a major star, given her estimable skills as a guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist, and the truth is there are plenty of roots rockers who have enjoyed more lucrative careers with far less to offer musically. But if Flores has had to settle for the life of a cult heroine and journeyman (journeyperson?) musician, she doesn't seem the least bit bitter about it, and the title cut of her album Working Girl's Guitar finds her proudly celebrating her life as a hard-working picker, as seen through the eyes of the well-used Telecaster copy pictured on the front cover. Flores picks up a storm all over Working Girl's Guitar, and though she's tasteful enough not to let her solos get in the way of her songs, when she feels like tearing up the fretboard, her chops are just as impressive as her melodic smarts, and she can strut her stuff on tunes that lean toward country ("Yeah, Yeah"), rock & roll ("I'm Little But I'm Loud"), surf ("Surf Demon #5"), vintage R&B ("If I Could Only Be with You"), or rockabilly ("Too Much") and sound equally at home and fully in command. Flores also pays tribute to her friend and inspiration Janis Martin with a joyous cover of her classic "Drugstore Rock and Roll," and Flores' vocals are just as limber and as spirited as her guitar work, no small accomplishment. Flores has some talented accompanists on this project, including Greg Leisz on pedal steel, Tommy Vee on bass, and Noah Levy on drums, but this is Rosie's show from the jump, and her jazzy re-imagining of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" closes out the show in style. Working Girl's Guitar shows that Rosie Flores is still earning her keep as a musician the old-fashioned way, and she sounds like she's loving every minute of it -- and when the music's this good, there no reason she shouldn't.

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