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Major Jack Rose reissue campaign planned for this autumn

Six of the guitarist’s out of print discs set for release in new editions

A major batch of Jack Rose reissues is due to hit this autumn. Six of the American primitive pioneer’s discs will be released in September in a joint venture between Three Lobed Recordings and VHF.

“Jack's catalogue, much like his playing itself, is a living, breathing thing that shouldn’t be subject to collector pricing,” explains Cory Rayborn of Three Lobed via email. “So many of Jack’s records were intentionally limited for any number of reasons – they were to be used for tour merch, to fulfill anticipated demand at the time, etc. In the years since his passing many of these releases have become increasingly rare and in demand on the secondary market.” Rose, who died in 2009 at the age of 38, was one of the most prolific guitarists of the new weird America network chronicled by David Keenan in The Wire 234, and the renewed interest in fingerpicking guitar that Rose helped spark continues to this day.

VHF are set to reissue Rose’s Opium Musick, Raag Manifestos and Red Horse, White Mule, while Three Lobed will take care of I Do Play Rock And Roll, Dr Ragtime And His Pals and the self-titled album. The project was kicked off when Jack Rose’s estate approached the two labels last year. “There is nothing special per se regarding the timing other than the fact that these titles aren’t out there and should be,” says Rayborn.

With many of the original albums put together relatively quickly, reissuing them exactly as they were was an impossible task. “The concept was to present the titles closely (or relatively closely) to the look/feel of their original releases to the degree possible, and within the general aesthetic of VHF and Three Lobed,” Rayborn continues. “All six of the LPs have been pressed from new freshly cut lacquers. On the art side, there were moments requiring reconstruction and/or imagination that both Bill Kellum of VHF and I had to engage in since some original art components are long gone.” The tracklistings remain the same as the original releases, with the exception of Dr Ragtime And His Pals, which excludes three solo tracks that Rose himself removed from a previous reissue.

“I miss Jack a lot and with frequency,” Rayborn reflects. “I was interested in and followed his career actively from Pelt through his development as a solo performer. Over time we got to be friends and I would always enjoy the opportunities we would have to hang out, chat, talk records and drink bourbon. The ability to release two titles for Jack historically was monumental to me at the time and felt like a sort of validation of what I was trying to do with Three Lobed. It is a tremendous honour and privilege now to be able to have a hand in putting a portion of his work back out into the public sphere. I relish the idea of someone who has never heard Jack's music before picking up any of these titles, falling in love and discovering the depth and breadth of his discography.”

More information will be available via Three Lobed Recordings and VHF in the coming weeks. Wire Subscribers can read our New Weird America issue, which is now sold out, via our online archive.