Jack Rose

Kensington Blues

Faulkner said once, “The past isn’t dead; it isn’t even past.” Jack Rose’s solo steel-string guitar playing illustrates the persistence of certain strains of music—their tendency to recur, to be reinvented by a new generation, to refuse to die. While Rose invokes ’60s folk-guitar revivalist John Fahey, the music’s roots lie far deeper. Kensington Blues is a study in artful finger picking, hypnotic blues and dark bluegrass. This album is consistently good, but the Western-slide-guitar-meets-Eastern-raga trance of “Now That I’m A Man Full Grown” is particularly striking, and “Cross the North Fork” is a gorgeous seven-minute finger-picking epic. Rose brings pre-World War II music to his own post-9/11 generation and makes it live.