June 08, 1992 12:00 PM

Rosie Flores

It’s funny that Flores should be considered L.A.’s queen of western beat—a gentle blend of rockabilly, country and blues—because she’s hardly slaved still long enough to let any crown be set on her head. In the late ’70s, she led Rosie and the Screamers, then went solo and acoustic, opening for such worthies as Bo Diddley and the Blasters. In the mid-’80s, Flores fronted the Screaming Sirens, an all-female cowpunk-and-surf-music band with whom she cut her first solo album.

While Flores has a somewhat reedy voice, she makes the most of it on After the Farm, particularly on plaintive ballads like her own “This Loneliness” and “”West Texas Plains,” co-written with Leroy Preston. “Dent in My Heart,” a writing collaboration with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, is a country weeper enlivened by a gentle swing beat, while “Dream, Dream, Blue,” cowritten with her brother, Roger, retains some of Flores’s earlier girl-group spunk. Two other tunes that capture Flores’s vocal style—which can sound both youthfully cute and dangerously grown-up, depending on the song—are “More to Offer,” which Flores wrote with Guy Clark, and “Sold on You,” composed with guitarist Duane Jarvis.

After the Farm is urban cowgirl music. Not quite hot enough to hoof to, it can still keep your toe tapping at a bar stool. (High Tone)

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