Episode 139: Anna Maria Rosales
Air date: 7.15.2015
Anna Maria Rosales spent her formative years playing bass in bands in her native El Paso, Texas, worked her way into a gig touring internationally playing bass, and spent three years on the road in Europe and both North and South America. Bona-fides like those would be enough to constitute a pretty solid career as a performer and make a body homesick, but by 2006, Rosales found herself back in El Paso with a palpable sense of oft-trod hometown grass growing under her feet. When she got word of an audition for a gig in Los Angeles, Rosales packed up her bass and her suitcase and bought a ticket on an overnight train headed west. During the audition, she executed a classic case of tactical omission - she never told the bandleader that she didn’t live in L.A., figuring that she’d cross that bridge if she got the job. She got the gig, solved the new problem by putting down roots in California and immersed herself in the music scene of her new hometown. While playing all those gigs on bass, Rosales’ strong back-up vocals prompted many people to encourage her to step up to the mic and release an album under her own name, and her new record, Washed Up On Your Shore, finally puts her front and center. Years of paying dues on stages in L.A. and around the world allowed her to get top notch players to contribute to the record, and they provide the perfect setting to showcase her pleasing and earthy alto. But it was the tragedy of losing her sister to breast cancer in 2013 that gives the album gravitas by leaving a giant hole in her life that Rosales could only begin to fill with the healing power of music.