Kensington Blues is the fourth full-length release from Jack Rose and his most diverse outing by far. The album is an inspired mix of styles and sounds, 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; “Rappahanock River Rag” and “Flirtin’ with the Undertaker” are pure syncopated ragtime; the epic “Now That I’m a Man Full Grown” was the signature piece of many live shows, a display of mind-boggling slide invention that straddles the line of East and West à la “Yaman Blues” from the Opium Musick LP. In something of a surprise inclusion, Rose’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.
Cross The North Fork
Cathedral Et Chartresadd
Rappahanock River Rag (for William Moore)
Sunflower River Blues
Now That I'm A Man Full Grown Ii
Flirtin' With The Undertaker
Calais To Dover
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