Rosie Flores plants a single rose

By Ken Burke, June 2004

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"So, for me and my label, I'm not ready to sign a lot of people yet. I would like to in the future, but I want to figure out how to make ("Single Rose") sell first so I can have enough money to do it right."

According to Flores, the set list she employs for "Single Rose," benefits greatly from the input of her two guest stars, ex-band mate Intveld and fiddle-playing Tammy Rogers.

"(James Intveld) came to town to write," explains Flores, "and that's why he happened to be here to sing on a song. He helped me with some arranging on my songs the night before we recorded. He was like, 'You know, that chord doesn't really sound like it goes there, but if you ended that solo like this...' It's almost like he was the secret producer on that record. I really think those songs would not have been as good if he hadn't been there that night."

Flores also heaps praise upon Rogers, who can be heard playing fiddle on the heart-tugging "Daddy's Lullaby." "I will always take every chance I can get to work with Tammy," she gushes. "If I ever want a viola, cello or violin, I'll call her because I love her heart when she plays. Not only is she a great player intonation-wise, but her notes are just very sweet and straight from the heart. No wonder she's got the gig with Reba McEntire right now. She's going to get to make a lot of money right now, which is really great for her because she's basically been an Americana artist her whole life."

Rogers can also be heard on the bilingual ballad, "It's Over." Asked if it's hard to translate such an emotional feel from one language to another, Flores responds, "No, not at all. It's almost easier to go more emotional because the lyrics become so much more poetic. Spanish lyrics are so much more sensual. But I can see why people want to record songs in that language because of they way people talk and the way things translate. Like, you would say, "Darling, you take the stars out of my eyes when you walk away from me...," and these things would be almost corny if you were to translate them into English. It's almost too romantic. So, it's just easier to go to that place and sing in that language."

Another aspect of her new album that Flores takes pride in is her acoustic guitar work. Scattered among the rockabilly of "'59 Tweedle Dee" and the rootsy showcasing of the old Ricky Skaggs hit "Country Boy (Girl)," reside top class renditions of "Heartbreak Train" and "Box Cars," which conjures the atmosphere of '30s jazz. Could the "Rockabilly Filly" be channeling the influence of Django Reinhardt?

"You're hearing a Django Reinhardt that I learned how to play from T.K. Smith, who basically wrote the original solo for 'Box Cars,'' Flores admits. "He was greatly inspired by Django, and then I took my adaptation of my version of T.K. Smith's version of Django and made it my own. So, mine's kind of a third generation down. But I am a really big Django Reinhardt fan."

Flores stays busy with projects she feels strongly about. As we spoke, she was helping organize a tribute/benefit for her mentor, the late honky-tonker Gary Stewart. Further, an overseas tour is in the works, and she has a "secret project" in mind "that has something to do with the Latin world, and I think it's really going to sell."

However, her immediate concerns are about "Single Rose" and the future of her new label cause her to momentarily take on the persona of any other record executive."We sent out close to 3,000 records," Flores candidly states. "It's up to me to get out there, promote it and get on TV shows and radio to let people know that it's out there. This is when the hard part all begins. But I have a really good management team, and they're getting everything in order so we're a smooth running machine so we can pay the bills and start saving money and can make the next record. I've tried to do it by myself for years. It hasn't been so tough that I wanted to actually quit, but it's been hard on me emotionally."

Then, just as quickly, Flores the artist reemerges.

"Although, dealing with the highs and lows are sometimes good for writing."