JACK ROSE LP (2007)
*european manufactured 180 gram lp housed in a stoughton
old-style jacket with j-card style obi. limited edition of 1000.
poet william butler yeats once observed that “you can refute hegel, but not ‘song of sixpence,’” and
on this new record jack rose supplies the proof, unspooling landscapes made entirely out of wire, where the simplest melodies
become mesmerizingly complex.
except, this isn’t quite the new
jack rose record.
ok, it is. sort of.
a cd-only release, and originally only released because scott slimm pestered jack for something for his incredible archive
label, it occupies a curious place in the rose oeuvre, falling in the interstice between live performance and deliberate studio
recording, a sketchbook or a progress report, a dispatch from the front or a postcard from an old friend on a long trip. on
these recordings, Jack takes bigger chances and makes bolder strokes, and the results are ragged but right – a craftsman
deep in his craft and deepening it. just give a listen to his haunting variations on “st. louis blues,” or the
uncanny, extended, blotter-acid raga “spirits in the house.” you’ll see what I mean.
perhaps because these are rough drafts for a forthcoming collection of duets, there’s
a lot of solitude in these songs – like dropping a pebble down a well and counting the seconds till you hear a splash,
only that splash is a long time coming back and you feel a little spooky. A duet for one is an inherently mysterious entity,
with a palpable absence built-in to it, a ghost in the grooves.
haints are sort of like saints, geists are a bit like guests, and visions are really visitations. So be sure to leave a light
on, and an empty seat at the supper table, just in case. company is coming.
FULLERTON WHITMAN/MIMAROGLU MUSIC SALES theoretically a “reissue”
of the archive-label jack rose “untitled” disc - but that’s only figuring said disc was ever really available
to begin with (mms had copies available for about a day a few months back...)
jack sheds his fahey-worshipping skin, i find myself getting more and more amped about each subsequent release - first it
was the change-ringing 7” on tequila sunrise and now this one; recorded davey graham style in someone’s house
/ in concert / at home in september 2006 (for the most part.)
prime material; jack herein working a slide/travis combo that’s ridiculously solid - his right right-hand timing is
so on right now...although there are a few detours into more free-form styles (check the sound-sample of a piece delving into
brij bhusan kabra territory - modal slide excursions over a tanpura-like tonal bed - at least at the end there) that make
the record for me...
EDWIN POUNCEY/THE WIRE
a key figure in the new american primitive movement that has developed since the death of
john fahey, this reissue from virginian guitarist and pelt member jack rose previously surfaced on the archive label. one
could almost mistake it for fahey himself, displaying a similar ease and knowledge of the music on blues standards like wc
handy’s ‘st. louis blues’ and blind willie johnson’s ‘dark was the night’. more intriguing,
however, is ‘spirits in the house’, where rose handles his acoustic guitar like a sitar with a stream of coiling
notes and exotic tonal colour. this self-titled album is more like a sketchbook than a fully formed new work, but reinforces
rose’s reputation as one of this century’s finest guitar players.
MOU/OTHER MISIC Philly's Tequila Sunrise borrows another rarity from
the Archive label, and as you may or may not know, this is hardly a reissue since the Archive CDs are made in such limited,
small runs. Maybe call this a "Continuation" or "Part II" or "Collector Nerd Rebate!" It all
works out for the common good in the end, as this time around there are 1000 copies of this vinyl-only pressing. Aside from
the typically great packaging and production values (European manufactured 180 gram LP housed in a stoughton old-style jacket
with j-card style obi), Jack Rose's self-titled record sports great cover art and is probably the most distinctive recording
from the guitarist yet.
There's all kindsa talk about the Jack
Rose/John Fahey connection, that whole shared raga/melancholy bluegrass vibe, but we all basically agree that Rose is at his
best when he does his own thing and stretches out a bit. That's what happens on this LP. Strength. Slashing precision. Lotsa
muscular lapsteel raga jams, climbing and clamoring towards nirvana. Did ya seem him live recently? This record reminds me
of his recent OM in-store appearance where he jammed a little harder than I expected without missing a beat and wrung the
dipping, sitar notes for all they were worth. Get it while it's hot and while its still here.
Vinyl reissue of an aRCHIVE cd, documenting
Rose’s skittish but ongoing affair with Fahey-esque guitar folk/feats of strength. Rumor has it that this material was
begrudgingly documented for its initial release, which makes very little sense. What it really does is showcases a traditional,
skill-based side of Rose’s idiosyncratic guitar super-ability separate from his group Pelt. I’d have to guess
that he didn’t want to make some slavish paean to something which most consummate musicians might want to hold closer
to their chests, but it’s a beautiful album, passionately recreating folk and raga within strict Appalachian confines.
Rose’s playing is exquisite, mannered, and warm. Edition of 800 in a beautiful tip-on sleeve with obi strip.