Back in the day, a new Jack Rose record was always cause for celebration around here. Along with James Blackshaw, Ilyas Ahmed, Richard Bishop and a few others, Rose was one of the new modern masters of the steel string guitar, helping to reinvent and redefine neo-Appalachia or modern folk or whatever you want to call it.
Dr. Ragtime from 2008, features more of Rose's gorgeous steel string beauty, gossamer sheets of buzzing shimmer, droning ragas, traditional bluegrass, slippery slide, melancholy melodies, jaunty pick and strum, the mood occasionally dark and ominous, sometimes playful and festive, and other times dreamy and serene, it's as much about the sound as the songs. To see Rose play live is pretty mindblowing, his mastery of the guitar is truly humbling, his playing incredibly physical, but so fluid and seemingly effortless. And the sounds that emerge from that chunk of wood and steel are consistently breathtaking. Which is true even on record, those sounds well removed from the actual recording, but retaining much of the physical act of the performance, the energy and the emotion, the sound vibrant and alive. This record is no different. Sonically, well in line with the rest of Rose's recorded works, but like every new Rose record that comes along, it manages to subtly expand and progress, sonically and compositionally, while continuing to sound classic and timeless.
For folks who have yet to discover the magic of Jack Rose this is a perfect place to start, and odds are those same folks will very likely find themselves wanting and perhaps even needing more!