Jack Rose Passes- Guest post by Rob Cambre of Anxious Sound

Dec 10, 2009 by

Start with a Video / Audio Tribute to JACK ROSE (includes a particularly good piece by Elisa Ambrogio of Magik Markers)

By now, many of you have heard the terrible and shocking news of the sudden death of guitarist JACK ROSE. I got the call Saturday from Donald Miller’s wife Cree, who was notified by Jack’s PELT bandmate Patrick Best, and needless to say we were in total shock over the weekend.

This a horrible loss on many levels, not the least of which is that Jack was doing so well and was so happy in his life & music. He & Laurie were happily married, had bought a house, Jack had been signed to Thrill Jockey recently, was touring and recording, and – as anyone who heard him recently can attest – he was playing at the top of his game.

I feel fortunate that I got to know Jack on his visits here through Donald’s initial introduction and that we got to hang out a fair amount, share gig billing a few times, and present him to New Orleans listeners through Anxious Sound. I was in total awe of his exceptional musicianship and ability to weave such mesmerizing power & beauty with his guitars. Watching Jack play was always a humbling yet inspiring experience for me as a guitarist (I felt like a caveman hitting a rock with a stick by comparison, especially on acoustic guitar!), but his technique never overshadowed the music and I always came away feeling a contagious sense of joy emanating from Jack’s person & instrument that radiated outward to all who listened.

As a person, Jack was a solid dude, remarkably free of bullshit, with a sharp sense of humor and probing mind. He was an astute listener of all sorts of music, most especially the host of early American genres that informed his playing (blues, gospel, ragtime, cajun, bluegrass, country, etc…) but he never merely gladhanded anything and would be the first to tell you if he thought something wasn’t too happening. But like a lot of us, Jack was more than just music, he also had strong passions for comedy and food, with a rep as quite a cook himself.

I’ll especially remember when Julie and I were in Philadelphia during the immediate post-Katrina period when we were travelling around the country like gypsies. We still didn’t know what we were going to be coming home to, so we were visiting friends and fellow strandees around the East Coast (in this case Brett & Janine in Philly). Jack was playing at the Standard Tap and invited us to attend. He greeted us warmly, and then during his set called me out to the audience and dedicated the piece to, collectively, Donald & Cree & me and the people of New Orleans. Coming from Jack, who was not much of a sentimentalist, the gesture really resonated and meant something, and is to me indicative of the depth of the man, who we will miss much…

– Rob Cambre, 12/10/2009

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