Friday, October 12, 2012

Rosie Flores pays tribute to Janis Martin, "the female Elvis" on Sunday, November 11th at the Iron Horse

Janis Martin was one of the few female recording artists working in the male-dominated rockabilly field in the 1950s. Nicknamed “the female Elvis” for her dance moves, the Sutherland, Va. native, born in 1940, recorded a number of singles for RCA Victor and Pallette from 1956 to ’61. Her first single, “Will You Willyum” b/w “Drugstore Rock ’n’ Roll,” sold more than 750,000 copies, landing her national TV appearances. In 1960, her first husband demanded she leave music. But she returned in the ’70s, and in 1995 made a guest appearance on Rosie Flores’ "Rockabilly Filly" album.

It’s here that the saga of Janis Martin’s farewell album, "The Blanco Sessions", began. The Blanco Sessions, produced by Flores and Bobby Trimble, will be released on Cow Island Music on September 18, 2012.

In 2006, Flores left Los Angeles to return to Austin and found Trimble, an old friend from Big Sandy’s Fly-Rite Boys, living there too. Trimble found a stellar and amazing team of Austin musicians to back Martin up including Dave Biller (guitar), Beau Sample (bass), T-Jarod Bonta (piano) and Trimble on drum. Kelly Willis also sings a beautiful duet with Janis. And in April 2007, the whole band, Janis, and her husband Wayne, drove from Austin to Blanco, Texas where the sessions took place. They cut eleven songs in only two days.

Martin left the Blanco Sessions feeling that she had accomplished something really great, as she told Flores in a phone call that brought tears of joy to Flores’ eyes. But just a few weeks later, Flores received another call from her with the shocking news that she had been diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. Martin passed away just four months later.

Janis Martin died leaving behind an enormous legacy and thousands of dedicated rockabilly fans who still mourn her passing. Since that sad day in 2007, her name has been praised with awards and accolades. In 2008 she was inducted as an outstanding woman into the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History in her hometown of Danville, Virginia. In 2010, she was recognized by the Library of Virginia at its Virginia Women in History Celebration. She was also featured in the Beth Harrington-directed documentary Welcome to the Club — The Women of Rockabilly that was broadcast on PBS.

Flores says “I thank the great Janis Martin up in rock ’n’ roll heaven for inspiring me to do this. I thank you for giving me the chance to help with your final recordings. I will see you again someday, and we’ll work on the next batch of songs! These final recordings are for all of those listeners out there who love your voice, your spirit, your heart, and your rock ’n’ roll soul.”


In addition to Janis Martin’s The Blanco Sessions, Rosie’s newest album, Working Girl's Guitar, will be released on Bloodshot Records. From her original composition of “Surf Demon #5” to George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” these tracks feature Flores as the only guitarist - a first for Rosie and a long-awaited, stellar performance by Rosie on the lead guitar. The set was recorded in Minneapolis with the help of drummer and bassist of Brian Setzer, Noah Levy and Tommy Vee and finished in Austin, Texas — the home of Rosie Flores. Flores will bring The Blanco Sessions alive with a U.S. tour over the months of October and December, during which she and guest Marti Brom will perform music from the album, Blanco Sessions as well as classics from Martin’s storied career. Rosie Flores will also perform a set of music from Working Girls Guitar and her catalogue.

 Tickets for Rosie Flores and Marti Brom on Sunday, November 11th at 7PM at the Iron Horse are available at NBO 413-586-8686 and online at     Direct Ticket Link.

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