Pop Music

Expatriate San Diegan Rosie Flores, one of the hottest country-western upstarts in the, er, country, returns home Thursday night for a concert at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

Shortly after its release last fall, the 32-year-old singer-songwriter's debut album on Reprise Records, simply titled "Rosie Flores," crested near the top of the national country charts, as did a single, "Crying Over You."

Since then, she's been taking her brand of "traditional country" all over the United States, touring either as a headliner or as an opener for George Jones and Dwight Yoakum.

A San Diego resident since she was 12, Flores spent most of the 1970s singing traditional country with local bands before switching to rockabilly in 1978 as the leader of Rosie and the Screamers. A few years later, she moved to Los Angeles and joined an all-girl "cow-punk" band, the Screaming Sirens.

Only last summer did Flores finally return to her traditional-country roots. That's when she left the Screaming Sirens--and their musical hybrid of country-western and punk rock--to sign a solo deal with Reprise.

Already, critics are likening her singing and writing style to that of such seasoned traditional-country veterans as Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris.

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