Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#794 in the Series) is Rosie Flores, Working Girl’s Guitar
In a musical landscape where you can’t swing a stray cat without hitting a female rockabilly influenced Alternative Country artist, Rosie Flores is the real deal. With Working Girl’s Guitar, her 11th album and second release on Bloodshot Records, Flores opens up the vault to display on one record most of her influences that include blues, rock, country, rockabilly, even Dick Dale Surf guitar, and for the first time does most of the finger-picking herself.
In a brilliant piece of song sequencing the album begins with the title track with the story line unfolding from the perspective of her road worn telecaster guitar. The guitar picking here is exquisite, and vocally she sounds a bit like a happy, less melancholy Lucinda Williams. As far as the guitar itself goes, “she’s a working girls guitar playing towns and travels far, drives by air drive by car she’s a working girls guitar.” All’s well that ends well though, as the sexy telecaster picks up a mandolin at the end of the song and takes him home. Despite what you may have heard, the love child born of this one night stand was not a ukulele. This is truly a first rate song.
Weighing in at a tidy and just about right nine songs, with each song achieving its own level of greatness starting at great and peaking at fantastic, the moods and textures vary sometimes greatly from song to song, but the base element of guitar virtuosity keeps the entire ensemble moving at a real fun pace, most notably with “Surf Demon #5”, a song right out of the Dick Dale canon that would also make a spooky addition to any Halloween playlist.
Vocally, Flores is in fantastic form. She morphs into the vocal styling of one of her idols, Janis Martin, covering her rockabilly rocker “Drug Store Rock and Roll,” and channels Tammy Wynette on “Love Must Have Passed Me By” where vocally she sounds like a singer half her age. And Ms. Flores, if you’re listening, I am not just saying this, It’s true.
The sexy sass is turned up several notches on “Too Much” delivered in a style that easily could be performed by Imelda May, or Wanda Jackson, the interpretation is that contemporary and that old school cool at the same time. The versatility continues with “If (I Could Be With You)”, a song that blends the pureness of Patsy Cline with the warble of Janis Joplin, a really stunning song, this Rosie Flores original is one of the best songs on the album.
Working Girl’s Guitar ends exactly as it begins, with a perfect song in the perfect place. Her beautifully sublime version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is quite possibly the best cover version of the song you will ever hear, and put’s a perfect bow on a package that will be a staple in your music rolodex for years to come.
- Working Girls Guitar
- Little But I’m Loud
- Yeah, Yeah
- Surf Demon #5
- Drug Store Rock and Roll
- Love Must Have Passed Me By
- Too Much
- If (I Could Be with You)
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps