Sunday, 6 December 2009

R.I.P Jack Rose

It is with sincere grief that I am posting this, but here is the news that Jack Rose passed away yesterday 5th December from a heart attack, aged only 38. For me, this is a genuinely shocking event that has left me practically speechless. When I wrote a preview of the gig for the Source magazine I had a short but profoundly affecting email conversation with him about his work and modern American Roots music, then went on to see him play an incredibly meditative set of acoustic guitar ragas at the Prince Albert which was an almost spiritual experience. As you can tell, he left a lasting impression.

In the 90's he was a member of 3-piece electric noise band Pelt,whose fierce, squally efefcts heavy styles gradually quietened down in to more naked acoustic contemplations. In the 2000's Rose began experimenting with fingerpicking, drawing heavily on the American primitivism of John Fahey.

Enough words from me. The man will forever be a legendary musician of his time in my house.

I leave you with a peformance of Kensington Blues from a few years ago.


  1. What a lovely piece of music. I'd never heard of this guy up until yesterday when someone mentioned his recent death on a music discussion group I'm a member of. In Kensington Blues he clearly shows his influences, in particular to John Fahey. The opening theme, repeated throughout the song, is something Fahey recorded on his Blind Joe Death LP (back in '66 ?), and if memory serves me well was based on an old hymn called "In Christ There Is No East Or West". If you think it sounds familiar try singing along using the words of Merl Haggard's hit "Mama Tried" ie "... that leaves only me to blame, cos mama tried" A good melody should never be allowed to be forgotten :). Just wish I'd known about this guy earlier and had a chance to see him live.

    Anthony Harland, UK

  2. thanks for your wonderful comment Anthony. I'm sad for you that you only just found out about this man, he really was something special.