Tag Archives: Glenn Jones

Review : Jack Rose & Glenn Jones “The Things That We Used To Do” DVD (Strange Attractors Audio House, 2010)

by Raymond Morin

The late Jack Rose and his good friend Glenn Jones have established worldwide reputations as standard-bearers in the modern instrumental guitar movement, and here at Work & Worry, we’ve always tried to give them their due.  In the months since Rose’s untimely death, there has been a flood of new Jack-related releases:  his fantastic full length album, a six-plus hour, digital-only tribute collection, and an upcoming EP featuring D.Charles Speer… a lot to take in, and at this website, we haven’t had the easiest time keeping pace.  Heck, I think I would’ve been satisfied with just the excellent Brickbat Books Bootlegs posted by Delta Slider a little while back! But I think that I can say with some confidence that the most indispensable artifact from this important era in underground acoustic guitar music might be this wonderful DVD from Strange Attactors Audio House. Continue reading

Work & Worry Presents! March 13 @ The Boston Center For The Arts

Work & Worry, in partnership with The Boston Center for the Arts, will be presenting the next installment of the venerable “Overheard/Underground” series, on March 13, 2010. The lineup is a great one, featuring the electric guitar soundscapes of David Daniell & Douglas McCombs (whose fantastic LP Sycamore came out last year on Thrill Jockey), 6 and 12-string master and American Primitive scholar Glenn Jones, and the twin acoustic attack of my duo, Pairdown.

The doors will open @ 7PM, and music starts at 7:30. Performances will take place in the Mills Gallery at the BCA, 539 Tremont St in the Boston South End. The gallery only seats 65, so get there early!

Review : Jack Rose “Luck In The Valley” LP/CD (Thrill Jockey, 2010)

by David Leicht

Performing is a musician’s most reliable path to the mastery of technique and ideas. The late Jack Rose constructed his solo guitar repertoire through years of persistent touring to become one of the commanding players of our generation. His 2005 album, Kensington Blues, presented eight selections that would serve as prototypes for his subsequent work, and a guitar vocabulary that was both deep-rooted and deliberately limited. Jack did not dabble, at least in public (he once told me that he played “Blackwaterside” now and then for a kick or as a warm-up). Instead, he continually explored variations of his core ideas. On his ultimate album, Luck In The Valley, he works primarily in ensemble with a cast that includes Glenn Jones, The Black Twig Pickers, Harmonica Dan and Hans Chew.

Jack’s work on the Weissenborn is the part of his repertoire I enjoy most. He used lap slide conventionally, for blues solos, but would also turn to it for modal, rāga-like excursions like “Now That I’m A Man Full Grown II” (from Kensington Blues) and “Song For The Owl” (from the limited edition 2009 LP, The Black Dirt Sessions). Luck In The Valley opens with a selection in this mold, entitled “Blues For Percy Danforth.” Jack’s slide on the take is charged and immediate, while an accompaniment of jaw harp and harmonica cleverly approximates sitar overtones. Within the context of the current guitar underground, where there is no shortage of Hindustani exotica, this cut strikes me as a revelation:

As “Danforth” fades, the album turns on a dime into “Lick Mountain Ramble,” the first of several rowdy ensemble pieces described in the press notes as “three-track shack recordings.” These tunes are elemental, joyful and beautifully presented. Jack’s “boom-chick” is the pervasive force, but is never artificially favored in the mixes, which are appropriately roomy and not over-engineered. My favorite is “When Tailgate Drops, The Bullshit Stops” (of course, though, I’m a sucker for the title)

“Tree In The Valley,” from the latter half of the album, is the second rāga-style work and one of only two solos, played in the manner of Robbie Bãsho’s “A North American Raga (The Plumstar)” (from 1971’s Song Of The Stallion LP) and Jack’s own “Cross the North Fork” (originally from Kensington Blues, with alternate takes on Tompkins Square’s Imaginational Anthem Volume 2 compilation of 2006 and also The Black Dirt Sessions). What I think Rose brings to this type of guitar playing that most others have not is an unwavering sense of resolve: there is never a moment’s hesitation, never a loss of direction. He also brings near-flawless execution, and so absent are the missed and bum notes that could jar the listener from reverie.

While Kensington Blues will likely endure as Jack’s signature work, Luck In The Valley, his best since, is a worthy, multifaceted companion.

Buy the LP or CD from Thrill Jockey
Buy the LP or CD from Insound
Dr. Ragtime, a Jack Rose tribute site
Jack Rose on Myspace