Rosie Flores "Rosie Flores" (Reprise, 1987)
After kicking around LA's nascent alt.country, neo-traditionalist hick scene for several years, Texas-born Rosie Flores got her big break on this major-label album, which has a several excellent tunes on it. Produced by Dwight Yoakam's right-hand man, guitarist Pete Anderson, this has all the sharp clarity of Anderson's production style, along with typically punchy hard country arrangements... "God May Forgive You (But I Won't)" is one of my favorite Flores tunes; other strong performances include "Crying Over You" and "I Gotta Know..." You have to admit, Flores has never had the world's greatest voice, but she sings with feeling, and has a lot of rough-edged charm. (Note: Rounder Records re-released this album on CD -- with several extra tracks! -- as Honky Tonk Reprise...) Worth checking out!
Rosie Flores "After The Farm" (Hightone, 1992)
Rosie Flores "Once More With Feeling" (Hightone, 1993)
Rosie Flores "Rockabilly Filly" (Hightone, 1995)
Includes duets with rockabilly foremothers Wanda Jackson and Janis Martin.... Rrrrrrowwlll...!!
Rosie Flores "Dance Hall Dreams" (Rounder, 1999)
Although the album art shows Rosie striking a classic rockabilly pose, this is actually one of her more introspective and personal albums, less rooted in classic country or 'billy stylings, and more of a contemplative, folkie album. Maybe not what her rockabilly-inclined fans might have expected, but it does have some gems. "Who's Gonna Fix It Now," an ode to a father who's passed on, is a highlight... The second half of the album gets a bit bluesier and more uptempo, but the songwriting is still relatively dense... Nice record, though!
Rosie Flores "Speed Of Sound" (Eminent, 2001)
Alternating pretty evenly between upbeat, rockabilly-ish numbers and softer torch songs, this is one of Flores' most consistent, most confident albums. Flores has long been an Americana indie darling in part -- let's face it -- because her vocal talents have always been a bit modest. She doesn't have a great range, and her phrasing can be stiff, but she's never let that slow her down, and I think that accounts for much of her charm. It's kind of like hearing your neighbor or roommate at open mic night, except that Flores has made a successful career of it... Her albums have been uneven, though, and this disc marks a bit of a turning point in that, for once, she sounds more... relaxed, as if she's not worrying about the production or whether she's coming across strongly enough. She sounds more masterful... more professional, if you will. Instead of a rugged sprinkling of gems in an unevenly paced setting (like many of her other albums), this is an evenly satisfying set -- nice from beginning to end. Over the years, I've been a quiet skeptic as far as Flores has has been concerned, but I'm pretty taken with this record. Check it out!
Rosie Flores "Single Rose" (Durango Rose, 2004)
Fans will be delighted by this stripped-down live set which features Rosie at her most buoyant and upbeat...She doesn't have the most perfect voice, or always stay in tune, but she sure knows how to have fun and the gal sings and writes a lot of great songs, including several here that she's never recorded before. She starts out with an off-the-cuff recollection of when she broke into the maverick LA alt-country scene of the 1980s ("Palamino Days") and delves even deeper into her past with a particularly nice version of "Bandera Highway," which she dedicates to her father; in between is a brace of other fine songs and lively interaction between Flores and her audience. It's a really nice portrait of one of indiebilly's stalwart performers at her most charming. Worth checking out!
Rosie Flores "Christmasville" (Emergent/Thirty Tigers, 2005)
Rosie Flores "Girl Of The Century" (Bloodshot, 2009)
New stuff from everybody's favorite hillbilly filly... now one of the grand dames of the alt-country scene... Keep up the good work, Rosie!
Rosie Flores "Working Girl's Guitar" (Bloodshot, 2012)
Rosie Flores "Bandera Highway" (Hightone, 2004)
For any latecomers, this disc is a swell selection of tunes taken from Flores' three Hightone albums -- After The Farm, Once More With Feeling, and Rockabilly Filly -- and it's as compact a reading of her early '90s ouvre as you're likely to find... Fun stuff!
Hick Music Index