Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jack Rose in Umeå

Last night I saw Jack Rose play an hour long set here in Umeå. I have been a fan of Pelt since I heard the double CD from 2001 Ayahuasca (a beautiful piece of work).
I was not sure if I would be able to make it the concert but while playing chess with my son I watched a documentary about the freak folk music scene in San Francisco. The show featured interviews and tunes from Six Organ of Admittance, Bright Black Morning Light, Tom Carter, Howlin Rain, Comets on Fire and more. It inspired me to get out and go see Jack.
When I met Jack Rose and shook his hand I noticed how big and chunky they were. Great paws attached to a bearish man with curly locks and a shaggy beard. Then when he started playing his hands became nimble creatures that plucked and strutted over the frets. In the music of Jack Rose Varanasi meets the Appalachians in the back seat of John Fahey's beat up automobile. I must admit in some places the music seemed to stagger and stall (giving the feeling of being imprisoned in a giant wind up clock that was running too fast), becoming repetitive, but overall it was a great performance. One perhaps 10 or 15 minute piece (time disappeared for most of the gig) in particular was an amazing raga-esque journey with Rose tapping on the sound board, playing a bass line and a high end all at the same time. Rose is continuing his European tour so if he is near you, give him your ears!

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