Sunday, December 06, 2009

Jack Rose is Dead

Jack Rose 1971-2009

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

I just heard that Jack Rose is dead at 38. While I only met Jack once, when I saw him play a beautiful concert here in Umeå in 2007, I have been listening to his music for the past decade. I am shocked by the passing of a great musician who was an inspiration to myself. Following his gig here in Umeå in 2007 I wrote:

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.

Jack Rose Umeå, 2007.

To understand who Jack Rose was turn to the Pelt Myspace site:

On Heraldic Beasts maybe more than any other Pelt record, the band get seriously fierce, kicking up super caustic walls of gritty guitar and harsh feedback, huge Total like dins that often (but not always) settle down into more familiar moody murkiness. Neo Appalachian guitar hero Jack Rose is in there somewhere, as Pelt is his musical day job, but he's not channeling Fahey here, instead, he's possessed by the spirit of Haino, spitting out huge surges of molten guitar skree which the band then twists into dronelike shapes. Most of this disc occupies the dreamlike raga space we've come to associate with Pelt, but there is most definitely plenty of supercharged blown out psychedelic freakout scrabble and skree, that fans of SUNN, Skullflower, Fushitsusha and the like will find well worth checking out.

And then there is his music:

These streams are from Arthur magazine, which is a brilliant publication and should be supported, even if I am borrowing their bandwidth, which I do with some conscious but due to the circumstances I will leave them here for a few days only- You can support Arthur in many ways:

Pelt Den Haag from Mikel Dimmick on Vimeo.

With Pelt.

Pelt Terrastock 7 June 22nd 2008 from Mikel Dimmick on Vimeo.

With Pelt at Terrastock 7

Obituary from Spinner:

Rose was born in Virginia in 1971. His professional musical career began in the Richmond noise band Pelt, which formed in 1993. But Rose is best known for his solo work, which he began recording in the early 2000s, releasing numerous EPs and LPs on a number of different labels, most frequently VHF.

Rose, who also went by the moniker Dr. Ragtime, reached new levels of exposure in 2004, recording a Peel Session on BBC Radio 1, appearing on a limited compilation by Devendra Banhart called 'Golden Apples In The Sun,' and being named among The Wire's 50 Records of the Year with the release 'Raag Manifestos.' The following year, he released 'Kensington Blues,' which also received high marks from publications including Pitchfork and Dusted.

Rose was considered instrumental in bringing ragtime into the modern era and transforming it into something that was both referential and original. But as a self-taught player proficient on the guitar, including the 6-string, 12-string and lap steel, he brought a wide range of influences to his music.

Explaining his process in a 2007 interview, Rose said his favorite music was "anything that's pre 1942; Cajun, Country, Blues, Jazz all that stuff... that's my favorite kind of music."

Sadness will be a companion for the coming time.

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