Jack Rose - Red Horse, White Mule LP


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Label: VHF

Our Review:

Red Horse, White Mule was the 2002 solo debut for Jack Rose, who spent most of the late nineties and early 2000's as a member of Virginia drone-folk collective Pelt. Yet as that band drew deeper into free-form percussive raga workouts, Rose seemed to quietly slip out into his own introspective solo guitar extrapolations of deep folk-blues, perhaps as a tribute to John Fahey who had died at the tail-end of a huge career revival just months before these recordings were made. That revival spawned a renewed interest in Fahey's Takoma label which also released recordings by Robbie Basho, Leo Kottke and Max Ochs, influencing a new generation of solo guitar practitioners evolving from the indie underground or The New Weird America, as it was sometimes called. Among them Sir Richard Bishop from Sun City Girls, Jim O'Rourke from Gastr Del Sol and Glynn Jones from Cul-De-Sac.

Yet Rose out of them all seemed to embody Fahey the most, using the guitar as a divining rod to a soulful complexity of spiritual longing and release, no matter what the physical tolls that a hard life of soul-searching would bring. Rose's muscular playing style and deep dedication to his craft arrived fully-formed on these recordings and this is just the tremendous beginning of a brief but highly prolific solo career.