Jack Rose TechElec

January 8, 2011
edited over 10 years ago
Firstly I'd like to start by saying Jack Rose was one of the best guitarists of his generation. I own all of his albums, and something that has been bothering me more and more over time is the fairly obvious plagiarism he was guilty of committing on a number of tracks.
I'll take the 2005 track 'Kensington Blues' from the album of the same title as an example. This track is just a slighty re-jigged version of 'Sunflower River Blues' by John Fahey (which bizarrely appeared on the same album). Don't get me wrong, it's a great track and probably his best known, but crediting himself as the writer was a bit of a joke. Now that I suppose could be overlooked and forgiven, but he was recycling the Sunflower/Kensington structure in various form on his albums over the course of 7 years. Off the top of my head there is:

'Blessed Is The Name Of The Lord' (Raag Manifestoes, 2003)
'Mountaintop Lamento' (Opium Musik) (2003)
'Kensington Blues' (Kensington Blues, 2005)
'Miss May's Place' (Dr. Ragtime & Pals, 2008)
'Kensington Blues' (Jack Rose & The Black Twig Pickers, 2009)
'Lick Mountain Ramble' (Luck In The Valley, 2010)

All of the above having a written by credit for JR. Go figure. The one that really gripes me, however is the track 'When The Tailgate Drops, The Bullshit Stops' (Luck In The Valley) which is a cover of two similar John Fahey recordings 'Steve Talbot On The Keddie Wye' / 'Poor Boy A Long Way From Home' played using exactly the same guitar & piano arrangement as written by Richard Gilewitz on his 2002 album 'Synapse Collapse'. I urge you to seek out the superior Richard Gilewitz original to compare the two. Again, it had a writers credit for Jack Rose, which is to me really unfair on the other artists involved.

If you like the works of JR, I would strongly recommened looking up the works of Sean Smith, James Blackshaw, and Richard Gilewitz. All are as good technically and write or improvise their own material.