You can call Rosie Flores' music rockabilly. You can call it alt-country. But whatever you call it, call it good.
Flores recently debuted her latest album, "Working Girl's Guitar" off Bloodshot Records. It's her 11th solo album since her self-titled debut hit the airwaves back in 1987.
Since then, the San Antonio native has been touring both regionally and nationally promoting her brand of rockabilly and country music to her loyal fans.
The title track "Working Girl's Guitar" and the succeeding song "Little But I'm Loud" are the first two cuts on the album and they sum up its contents, the artist and her career nicely.
It's a career that's spanned 30 years and it Flores delving into her 50s, shows no signs of slowing down.
Ironically enough, it wasn't Flores herself who penned the title track, rather, a fellow Texas musician made the comment "that's a working girl's guitar" after he purchased one of Flores' used six strings.
It's also more of a showcase of Flores' vocals than her furious fingers on the strings. But fear not, that guitar prowess is featured quite prominently throughout the album.
As is the music itself. Despite being a studio album, it doesn't sound overproduced, rather having a somewhat raw quality to it.
You feel with Flores as she belts out each number. Sometimes it's loud and boisterous. Others, like "Love Must Have Passed Me By" and "Yeah Yeah" slow down the tempo, giving you a glimpse into the softer, sultry side of Flores. It's an enjoyable glimpse.
The mix-and-match menagerie of original tracks and skillfully-done covers affords and wide-sampling of Flores' vocal abilities, it still affords the Texas Rockabilly Filly to do what she does best strum that guitar.
And make no mistake, this woman can play with the best of them.
For example, sample Flores' take on rockabilly legend Janis Martin's "Drugs Store Rock and Roll." Also check out the instrumental "Surf Demon No. 5", a la Dick Dale.
If you're not careful, a few tracks on this album will transport you back in time and you'll forget that this is 2012 and music isn't supposed to sound this good.
Flores has sited Elvis Presley as one of her earliest music influences and heroes.
Toward the tail end of the nine-track album, she pays homage to the King by providing her own take on a cover of Too Much, a record Presley took to No. 1 after Bernard Hardison first cut it in 1954.
Flores closes out the album with her version of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."
It's best just to close your eyes, feel the music and let Flores fingers and vocals speak to you.
I'll admit, this was my first foray into Flores' music. It won't be the last. Fortunately, with a lengthy discography to sample, I have plenty of listening left to do.
In my opinion, the Top 5 tracks on this album are.
1. Little But I'm Loud
2. Love Must Have Passed Me By
3. Too Much
4. Working Girl's Guitar
5. Drugstore Rock and Roll.
Hughes may be reached online at email@example.com