Jack Rose - s/t LP
Label: Three Lobed
By now, Mr. Jack Rose should need no introduction. Numerous releases on Eclipse, VHF, Tequila Sunrise, tons of amazing shows, every performance totally spellbinding, with a repertoire that runs the gamut from classic bluegrass to drone drenched ragas to neo-Appalachia and probably to some styles of playing he just made up. In fact Rose was seemingly the first to not just ape the music and style of John Fahey, instead choosing to create his own sound and style, due in no small part we'd guess, to his continuing membership in drone-raga ensemble Pelt and that raga vibe most certainly informs all of his playing, which just might explain why we find Rose so much more interesting than many of his contemporaries.
This record collects a handful of studio recordings from 2005, featuring Rose exploring the slide guitar, and as always, it's positively divine. From twangy countrified bluegrass breakdowns, to dense tangles of elaborate finger picking, his slide so slippery and fluid, totally emotional and moving, every song so complex and technical, but at the same time so goddamn simple and beautiful. The highlight would have to be the 12+ minute "Spirits In The House," with its amazing harmonics over a warm backdrop of buzzing low end overtones. The main melody so completely captivating, shimmery and wavery, sounding very Eastern and very much like a sitar, the perfect blend of wistful bluegrass melancholia and buzzing Eastern style raga. So gorgeous. And as with pretty much every Rose record, absolutely essential.