Jack Rose - Kensington Blues LP
We have long been mesmerized by Jack Rose's unique take on Fahey-esque neo-Appalachia. It's unbelievable how in the right hands just a guitar can conjure up such a massive sound and so much emotion and Mr. Rose was definitely one of the finest examples at the time. If you're familiar with the music of John Fahey you have a good idea of Rose's basic sound (he even covers Fahey's "Sunflower River Blues" here), but his years spent in the free drone group Pelt has definitely informed not only his guitar playing, but also his song writing. Some of the tracks on Kensington Blues are straight up stompers, sounding like they have to be standards, foot tapping hand clapping classic backwoods frontporch folk/blues. But others are dark and brooding, with intricate finger picking, producing all manner of buzzing overtones and subtle harmonic coloring. Those are the tracks where Rose shines the most, when he digs deep and explores the darker side of this music, and lets the notes stretch and buzz, sliding and scraping, letting notes drift and hover and eventually blur into shimmery drones and hypnotic stretches of cycle and repetition. A stone classic!