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Jack Rose

Kensington Blues CD

Kensington Blues, the fourth full-length release from Jack Rose, is an inspired mix of styles and sounds that brings his in-person steel string guitar mastery down to CD scale. This is Rose's most diverse outing by far, with straight ragtime, heavy 12-string, and that sweet, sweet Weissenborn lap guitar all checking in. Honed during endless touring in 2004, the repertoire here is delivered with maximum authority in a series of first-take performances recorded in early 2005.
 
"Cathedral et Chartres" and "Calais to Dover" are dense, brooding 12-string numbers, recalling the key tracks on 2004's Raag Manifestos. "Calais" features a sequence of right hand picking furious enough to evoke a dream state-- la Charlemagne Palestine's "Stumming Music." "Rappahanock River Rag" and "Flirtin' With the Undertaker" are pure syncopated ragtime, while "Kensington Blues" offers an almost regal take on the intersection of Anglo and American folk traditions. The epic "Now That I'm A Man Full Grown" was the signature piece of many of 2004's live shows, a display of mindboggling slide invention that straddles the line of East and West a la "Yaman Blues" from the Opium Musick LP. In something of a surprise inclusion, Jack's take on John Fahey's "Sunflower River Blues" (long a staple of Pelt and solo gigs but never included on a record) is subtle and expressive, with a wonderful rise and fall that perfectly accentuates Fahey's beautiful melody.
item # 20435
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