NPR Remembers Jack Rose

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Tim Bugbee/Tinnitus Photography
It was a little bit more than three months ago that Philadelphia guitarist Jack Rose died suddenly at the age of 38. Over the weekend, NPR did a story on the departed musician that drew heavily on an interview reporter Joel Rose--no relation--had done with the guitarist in 2005. It's sad stuff--he was such a vital guy. "A lot of people, when they view old-time music, they view it as gentle or nostalgic, which I don't get at all," Rose told NPR then. "It was totally bizarre-sounding to me, and messed-up." So was Rose's own playing, but in the best way possible. Luck in the Valley, the guitarist's final record, comes out tomorrow. Hear "Woodpiles on the Side of the Road" here, or cop the record from Thrill Jockey. "He and his wife had just bought a house," Glenn Jones told NPR. "The career trajectory is what's so disheartening, because he'd worked so hard. And to have the rug get pulled out from him at this moment, all I can think is, I just hope he didn't even know it happened to him." [NPR]

"A Valentine for Jack Rose" Slated for Issue Project in February; Download New Song "Woodpiles On The Side Of The Road"

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Last month, the Philadelphia guitarist Jack Rose was felled by a heart attack at the appallingly young age of 38. He was in his creative prime. Now comes the welcome word that Thrill Jockey will be releasing Luck in the Valley, the last album he recorded before his death, on February 23rd. It's a lovely record--as alternately carefree, virtuosic, and psychedelic as those that came before it. To celebrate the man and his work, Issue Project will be hosting A Valentine for Jack Rose, a February 14th memorial featuring frequent Rose collaborators the Black Twig Pickers, his old psych-blooze band Pelt, Marcia Bassett of Double Leopards, the legendary guitarists Glenn Jones (of Cul De Sac) and Michael Chapman, Steve Gunn, and Tom Carter. This show, and one a day earlier in Philadelphia, will be both album release shows and memorials--all the artists slated to play are old friends of the departed guitarist. Thrill Jockey has passed along an MP3 from the new (all live!) record: "Woodpiles On The Side Of The Road," a song he recorded in one stunning take. Arg. Rose used to do that a lot.

Plastic Crimewave Salutes Jack Rose

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Chicago psych artist, Galactic Zoo Dossier publisher, and sometime musician Plastic Crimewave paid homage to his friend Jack Rose in the Chicago Reader yesterday. I still have that "Damaged Guitar God" trading card in a drawer somewhere. [Chicago Reader]


RIP Jack Rose

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His Kensingston Blues was the record I listened to most in 2005. That year I remember seeing him play in various small venues in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, the temperature in the room always a little bit too high, the longer more hypnotic stuff like "Calais to Dover" and "Cathedral et Chartres" never failing to quiet the room. His sets would put the audience in a kind of trance that would last until the first bit of hesitant applause. He was a big, gentle physical presence and my favorite guitarist after John Fahey. This weekend he died of a heart attack at the age of 38. He leaves behind nine records, all worth listening to; Luck In The Valley, the record that was to be his Thrill Jockey debut, may still come out next year. Let's hope it does. Brainwashed has a vivid Rose remembrance up from Windy Weber; Arthur has a video tribute; Spinner has the remainder of the sad details on his life and death. He'll be missed. "Kensington Blues" is a really wonderful song:

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