The album known as “Self-Titled” was originally released in 2006 on the arCHIVE label, and later reissued as a CD two-fer with “Dr. Ragtime and His Pals.” It contains a combination of studio and live recordings. “Self-Titled” is marked by a sense of forward momentum, the result of several years of constant playing, with fresh versions of a number of previously attempted songs. Blind Willie Johnson’s spiritual “Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground” is manipulated into a wailing slide-guitar lament. “Levee” pops like a warning. “St. Louis Blues” (in this and its several other incarnations across his entire catalog) is a good example of Jack’s innate sense of swing, a crucial characteristic of his playing perhaps lost on some of his fingerpicking followers. The centerpiece of the album, however, is the nearly sidelong “Spirits in the House,” which begins with tentative weeping glissandos, and slowly reveals itself as a stately fingerpicked blues meditation.
Jack Rose was a larger than life man with a hearty spirit--a no-bullshit gentleman--and his death continues to reverberate among the community of musicians and music people he called friends. This spirit, as evidenced within his recorded output, has proven to be indomitable and continually vital. -Scott McDowell, May 2016