Flores lead rockabilly/country charge
Johnny D's, Somerville, Mass., July 1, 1998
By Jeffrey B. Remz
SOMERVILLE, MA - Rosie Flores came into town with a backing band with a grand total of experience together of one rehearsal and maybe two gigs.
But that didn't seem to matter much at all in a winning two-hour set mostly of rockabilly, but with doses of country thrown in.
The West Coast-based singer mixed it up between playing songs solo and bringing up her Sea Monkeys backing band: Russell Cashdollar on drums and Jeff Roberts on guitar. The players acquitted themselves quite well in propelling the material.
Flores, whose main problem is her voice is a bit on the thin side, would have helped by backing vocals from Roberts that you could hear.
Flores delved into her past catalogue, although focusing moreso on "Rockabilly Filly" with "Blues Keep Callin'," ""His Rockin' Little Angel" and a strong version of Butch Hancock's "Boxcars."
She also played several songs from her upcoming album, which while not too different stylistically from what she has previously done, were all fine. The best was "Dancehall Dreams," an easy-going, mid-tempo song she wrote with Radney Foster. No date has been set for her Rounder debut, though it may not be until January.
Flores, whose guitar playing was solid, but not flashy, offered good covers of Wanda Jackson's "Funnel of Love" and Elvis' "Trying to Get to You." She followed that up with her story about Elvis, "It Came From Memphis" towards the end of a set that built quite nicely, closing with "Drugstore Rock and Roll."
Flores possessed an easy going style, telling several funny stories along the way and expressing surprise at one point about "Girl Haggard" being a song people wanted to hear. They did. She played it just fine.
Flores closed the generous evening out in fine style with "Fourth of July" (the third time it has been performed in the past three weeks around these parts by the way with X and Dave Alvin supplying the others), "Love You Too Much" and a rocking "Wild Thing."
This could have been the makings of a rough night out based on the trio's lack of much experience together.
But credit Cashdollar, Roberts and most of all Flores with the ability to pull it off.