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Rosie Flores: 'Working Girl's Guitar' 

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Four decades haven't dimmed Rosie Flores' shine or dinted her swagger. From the opening title track — which celebrates the miles from the perspective of her trusted six-string partner — there's an acceptance and embrace that says, "Hell yeah, why not?" That sassy vibrancy is a big part of Flores' allure in any of the album's array of styles. That spunk fuels the country-rawk rave-up "Little But I'm Loud," which has a lead guitar lick that is a cousin to the Stones' "Bitch," and the sultry Sun Records rock of "Too Much." There's a instrumental spy/surf cover of Janis Martin's "Drugstore Rock 'n' Roll," and an absolutely breathtaking, album-closing cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The latter track's finger-picked guitar is wonderful enough, but Flores' coquettish coo curls feline-like around your heart demanding surrender. It's only nine tracks long, but there's no filler. The album's highlight is "Yeah Yeah," which blends pedal steel country peals with '60s girl group warmth like a world-weary Nancy Sinatra giving her boots some welcome late-night respite. Flores' expressive voice defies aging, and she remains an equally vital guitarist and songwriter. After the popular reassessment Wanda Jackson's enjoyed the past few years, you wonder — could Flores' due be far behind?

★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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