Rosie Flores

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Record Reviews

Rosie Flores

Speed of Sound (Eminent)

Rosie Flores had the term "rockabilly filly" stuck to her before the retrobilly explosion of the early Eighties, yet she has managed to branch out at most every turn, and Speed of Sound is no exception. Her voice is as sweet and intimate as ever on the jazzy "Don't Know If I'm Comin' or Goin," as well as on the wistful "Somebody's Someone," while "Don't Take It Away" (a Flores original) lurches with a primeval Bo Diddley beat punctuated by the insistent sting of bottleneck guitar. The material that comprises the core of Speed of Sound are well-chosen, to say the least: Marshall Crenshaw's "Somewhere Down the Line," Robbie Fulks' "I Push Right Over," the Buck Owens chestnut "Hot Dog," and Johnny Cash's "Country Boy." Flores pulls them all off with equal aplomb. No Wanda Jackson wannabe, the former local takes rockabilly stylings and makes them her own, traditionalists be damned. That doesn't mean that "Hot Dog" and "Rock-a-Bye Boogie" don't rock, it's just that it isn't necessary for every rockabilly song to sound like Carl Perkins. Producer Rick Vito also contributes the bulk of the lead guitar work and keeps things down to a low boil, eschewing things like pedal steels and fiddles. This is as honest and direct of an album as you'll hear, and a relief from the pretenses that too often go along with rockabilly and alt.country. (Saturday, March 17, Hideout, 1am)

***

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