Doc Watson RIP

Doc Watson RIP

It has been a tough run for lovers of Americana / American Roots / American Folk / Mountain Music, or whatever you’d like to call it. Earl Scruggs, Levon Helm, and now Doc Watson. I was going to tell Bill Monroe to watch himself ‘cept he’s been dead since ‘96, so I expect he’s alright.

I personally owe a steep debt to many who have shown me the ocean that flows pulses pulls, and how this great water is not ever diminished by the flim-flam top-40 hoots of the day.

God bless ya Doc. Not sure if you ever played Irish, but by introducing lots of folks to the real thing you certainly sent them out prepared, and ready to find and experience Irish in all it’s glory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyQOCJ4SUSk

Re: Doc Watson RIP

Very sad indeed. He was truly a legend in Americana.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

This is a huge loss to the world, we’re all lucky he lived as long as he did. Him and Merle are picking some tunes/songs in some better place right now.

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Re: Doc Watson RIP

His knowledge of tunes and ballads was amazing..
Every time I saw him (at least 20 times over 30 years at concerts and festivals), he perfomed amazing tunes or songs I’d never heard, that made me rediscover over and over the depth of American folk music.

He was a humble virtuoso with a beautiful baritone voice.
I wes never disappointed, and always inspired by any performance that he gave. Thank you Doc for always being the best you could be. I am sad to know he is gone, but I’m glad that he was here to show anyone he met how to live a good life.

For anyone here unfamiliar with Doc’s music, there is plenty on youtube I am sure. You’ll have to give a listen to "Tennessee Stud", which was a signature ballad for most of his career. Also, "Black Mountain Rag" is a quintessential stufy in flatpicking. Above, "Deep River Blues" represents his signarure as a finger picker and bluesman. There must be some beautiful gospel ballads circulating. Those will be the gems that you’ll find that he snuck into any performance at any time, often to the surprise of those on stage with him. Those will be the ones that will make you wonder the most about the man.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

Doc had a good innings and in his time inspired many many people on all sides of the pond, me included. For me it was the huge understatedness in his playing, never sacrificing musicality over technical ability. He never ever disappeared up his own ar se with his playing, modest to the core with a real sense of integrity in what he was doing.

I particularly love the way he’d inject his brilliance fleetingly into the little spaces of his songs, like those stunning wee turnaround licks in songs like "Way Down Town" or "Streamline Cannon Ball". Always left you wanting more. A fine fine singer too.

A favorite murder ballad, Little Sadie;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffQMQ7qHfqQ&feature=related


A love song;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiGfNjRXNn0&feature=related


Guitar guitar guitar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SIdyomArLY&feature=related

Re: Doc Watson RIP

His "Old Timey Concert" LP with Clint Howard and Fred Price inspired me so much. And even after all these years his original recording of "Black Mountain Rag" at the 1963(?) Newport Folk Festival sounds breathtaking. His playing, and indeed his singing, has given me a lifetime of ideas and I could not overstate the influence he had on my playing, and I know my guitar playing colleagues feel the same way.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

I saw Doc in Kilburn in the late 70s, a truly great concert just him and Merle and a bass player.
Doc led the way in flatpicking as far as I’m concerned and he had a great voice too.
Yes, he will be greatly missed but we just have to listen to the vast body of work that he left.
I’ll be playing a few of his CDs today.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

so long, doc, and thanks for all the great tunes and songs, since 1965 when i first saw you…you’ll be missed, but what an example of how to do what you love.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

One of the great ones. Like Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs, his influence is inestimable – perhaps more far-reaching than even those two. I did meet him once, but I have no stories to tell, except that was very gracious.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

I lIved not too far from Black Mountain for a year or so; a lot of people like him, a lot of people spoke highly of him. I was surprised how many of the young people (my age, as it were) spoke of him.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

[It has been a tough run for lovers of Americana / American Roots / American Folk / Mountain Music, or whatever you’d like to call it. Earl Scruggs, Levon Helm, and now Doc Watson.]

…and the irreplaceable doug dillard.


doc watson would be one of my top five favorite guitar players…..an aristocrat in the deepest sense….

Re: Doc Watson RIP

Very sad. Part of my introduction into acoustic music.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

Yes, what a talented individual.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

He’s on the air right now. I love how he says, so very matter-of-factly, that he could do rough carpentry! He will be missed!

Re: Doc Watson RIP

David Holt, who had toured with him in his latter years, said that Doc Watson was THE BEST accompanist ever; because he had to listen, he got no other clues, like the rest of us. Not what you think of first, but as an earlier comment said he was a modest man; if asked to accompany he would, and do his best at it.
We are deprived of a great musician.

Re: Doc Watson RIP

I have the album of Doc Watson and Bill Monroe duets, and after a blistering solo by Big Mon on I think Soldier’s Joy, Doc drawls "Fastest mandolin I ever saw!". Class. Truth be told though, I think Doc outshines even Monroe on this recording.