The latest album by Rosie Flores does exactly what the title suggests in being an album of superbly played and produced blues made by a group of top players that includes the legendary Charlie Sexton alongside Kenny Vaughn and Dave Roe.
Most of the album was recorded in Goodlettsville Tennessee in 2015 with additional work in Austin Texas in 2016 and 2017. I have to say it's obvious a great deal of effort has gone into making this album sound amazing.
The album opens with Love Don't Love Nobody a song probably best known for the Detroit Spinners soul version rather than this wonderfully careworn blues take with some very laid-back guitars and Rosie really sounds like she knows and has learnt the hard way just how fickle love can be. It really sounds like it could have been recorded in the late 50's by Koko Taylor or Etta James.
Mercy Fell Like Rain is a modern laid back gospel blues that has Rosie begging for mercy as the guitars weep over an organ sound wracked with emotion that is only heightened by the choral backing vocals.
I Want To Do More is a song Leiber and Stoller wrote for Ruth Brown. It's a classic strolling blues love song where the percussion works almost like punctuation for the story in the lyrics. While Dave Roe's bass does it's best to sound like Willie Dixon backing Victoria Spivey.
Simple Case Of The Blues may be a new song but it sounds like it could have been written at any point from 1950 onward as it has a timeless or some might say a dated feel as Rosie gives us a soulful statement of her woes as Rosie tells us all about him and the pain he causes her and that ain't good. Although for me it all feels a tiny bit restrained like she really needs to go full on Etta James wailing blues for this song.
Drive Drive Drive is a good slow freewheeling road song about sliding on down that tarmac all night long. The production and careful placement of the instruments on this song really help to make you feel like the tarmac is rolling under your wheels in the dead of night.
Till The Well Runs Dry sounds like they want to be playing at a 1950's sock hop and they really want to get those kids dancing at a frantic pace. It's a cool reworking of Wynona Carr's song.
If There Was A Way is a cover of the Dwight Yoakham country love song and Rosie gives it a nice slow soulful blues feel with some cool horns it almost sounds like an Aretha Franklin song by the end of it and this song has a real Memphis feel to it.
That's What You Gotta Do takes the Brenda Lee classic and plays it as a great striding blues pop with a real soda fountain pop feel to it as Rosie gives us those lessons in love we need with some great Toussaint style piano to hammer home the message with.
Enemy hands is a slow blowsy blues evocation of what it's like to be with the wrong lover. I love the way the instruments are placed in the room that makes it feel like Rosie and the band are in the room with you and she's whispering in your ear and you'd better listen.
Teenage Rampage is not a sweet cover sadly but instead is a great fast paced blues instrumental that reminds me of Wes Montgomery in his time on Riverside.