10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“He will be missed” was the line heard ‘round the underground in late 2009, when guitarist Jack Rose suffered a sudden fatal heart attack at the too-soon age of 38. The Pelt alum left one last LP behind, though — the final installment in his “Ditch Trilogy” tribute to pre-war music. In case you’re unfamiliar with that dusty, boot-scooting chapter of the Great American Songbook, it can mean anything from the hoedown hooks of “Lick Mountain Ramble” to the hypnotic chords of “Moon In The Gutter.” And if you want a real history lesson, Rose also left his finger-picking prints all over three traditional tunes, including a saloon jam session (“West Coast Blues,” which could pass as an Old Crow Medicine Show instrumental) and a ragtime favorite (“Saint Louis Blues”) that’s been covered by Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong and the Flamin’ Groovies. As for how all of this fits into Rose’s storyline, Luck In The Valley isn’t about the loss of life. It’s about the celebration of it.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“He will be missed” was the line heard ‘round the underground in late 2009, when guitarist Jack Rose suffered a sudden fatal heart attack at the too-soon age of 38. The Pelt alum left one last LP behind, though — the final installment in his “Ditch Trilogy” tribute to pre-war music. In case you’re unfamiliar with that dusty, boot-scooting chapter of the Great American Songbook, it can mean anything from the hoedown hooks of “Lick Mountain Ramble” to the hypnotic chords of “Moon In The Gutter.” And if you want a real history lesson, Rose also left his finger-picking prints all over three traditional tunes, including a saloon jam session (“West Coast Blues,” which could pass as an Old Crow Medicine Show instrumental) and a ragtime favorite (“Saint Louis Blues”) that’s been covered by Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong and the Flamin’ Groovies. As for how all of this fits into Rose’s storyline, Luck In The Valley isn’t about the loss of life. It’s about the celebration of it.

TITLE TIME
7:36
2:26
3:10
2:28
3:04
2:20
4:31
6:08
2:44
2:32

About Jack Rose

An inventive and self-taught player on acoustic six-string, 12-string, and lap steel guitar, Jack Rose was considered part of the so-called Takoma revivalist movement that echoes the often Eastern-tinged acoustic guitar experiments of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and others, although Rose got his start as a musician in an entirely different direction, first as a rock and punk-inspired electric guitarist in the Richmond, VA, drone trio Pelt. Pelt released a series of albums beginning in 1995, but while officially remaining a member of the band, Rose began a solo career as an acoustic guitarist with Hung Far Low (a self-released CD-R) in 2001, following it with Red Horse, White Mule on Eclipse Records that same year; Dr. Ragtime (another CD-R issue) and Opium Musick (on Eclipse) in 2002; Raag Manifestos (the LP appeared from Eclipse with the CD assigned to VHF Records) in 2004; Kensington Blues (Eclipse/VHF) in 2005; and Heraldic Beasts, the live Skullfuck/Bestio Tergum Degero, and Jack Rose & the Black Twig Pickers (all on Eclipse) in 2006. Beautiful Happiness reissued Red Horse, White Mule and Opium Musick together as Two Originals Of in 2004 and paired Dr. Ragtime & Pals and Jack Rose & the Black Twig Pickers -- the first two parts of what he humorously referred to as his "Ditch Trilogy" -- for another combined reissue in 2008. Rose's burgeoning career was cut short when died on Friday, December 4, 2009, of a heart attack. He was 38 years old. In February 2010, the last part of that trilogy, Luck in the Valley, was released by Thrill Jockey. Scant weeks later, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth released a Rose tribute album, 12 String Meditations for Jack Rose. ~ Steve Leggett

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