“Rockabilly filly” Rosie Flores returned to her Southland stamping ground Wednesday for the unveiling of a project obviously near and dear to her heart, “The Blanco Sessions” album she produced for ‘50s rockabilly singer and songwriter Janis Martin.
The album comes out Sept. 18, but showcasing the material Martin sang for her first new recording in more than two decades falls to Flores. Shortly after working on the album in 2007 with Flores, Martin, then 67, learned she had cancer, and died a few months later. As a teenager, Martin had earned the nickname “The Female Elvis” in the ‘50s for her raucous, hard-driving brand of rock in songs such as “My Boy Elvis” and “Barefoot Baby.”
“I was turned down by every record company for four years straight,” Flores told a crowd of nattily dressed neo-rockabilly fans, cowboys and cowgirls ranging from their 20s to some in their 70s at Viva Cantina Mexican restaurant and bar in Burbank equestrian country. “I’d like to thank the Kickstarter people who are here because it was a Kickstarter campaign that allowed me to finish it.”
She topped her $15,000 goal of last year's self-financing campaign and now the album is about to see the light of day. Wednesday’s show coincided with Flores’ birthday in a show at which she was joined by newer generation roots-rock singers Ruby James and Kim Lenz, as well as a surprise appearance during the encore my surviving longtime Ramones member Marky Ramone, who jumped behind the drum kit to bash away enthusiastically on the Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired “I’m On Fire.”