Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Best Of Doc Watson 1964-1968
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop
Few musicians are as adept as Doc Watson is at making the remarkable seem routine. Song after song on this 23-track label retrospective demonstrates effortless flat-picking virtuosity. Listen to the fleet, precise picking ... more »
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Few musicians are as adept as Doc Watson is at making the remarkable seem routine. Song after song on this 23-track label retrospective demonstrates effortless flat-picking virtuosity. Listen to the fleet, precise picking on "Beaumont Rag," and you'll immediately recognize why the North Carolinian's skills are the envy of just about anyone who's ever tried to master folk guitar. Yet his plainspoken baritone vocals on "Tennessee Stud," "Shady Grove," "Little Sadie," and others speak of his devotion to his songs. Watson in his prime could play rings around just about any picker alive, but he's never gone in for hollow showboating. Culled from six of the nine albums Watson recorded for Vanguard between 1964 and 1971 (though the most recent inclusions here are from 1968), this album is a condensed alternative to the four-disc Vanguard Years box set. Four previously unreleased tunes add to the value of this worthy intro to an American master. --Steven Stolder
Doc Watson is a fast guitar picker and bluegrass innovator!
Volkert Volkersz | Snohomish, WA United States | 03/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As an impressionable teenager in the mid 1960s, I was one of the youngest members of the Seattle Folklore Society (the folks who later started the Northwest Folklife Festival). In those early days, they would rent small halls and bring in old black blues musicians like Rev. Gary Davis, Mance Lipscomb and Jesse Fuller, and relatively unknown folk musicians like Buffy Sainte Marie and Doc Watson.Watson is an incredibly talented blind guitar and banjo picker from the Blue Ridge Mountains with a resonant voice. The night I saw Doc Watson, he was ushered to a lone chair at the center of a small stage, and within one or two songs, I felt like I was sitting at his kitchen table, as he sang songs from the mountains of North Carolina with a decidedly bluegrass flavor. At the time, I just knew he was one of the fastest flat-picking and fingerpicking guitarists around, who held the respect of anyone who had taken up the instrument in the Sixties.What I didn't know then was that Watson is largely responsible for shifting bluegrass guitar from a supportive rhythm guitar role (so that fiddlers and banjo pickers could shine) to playing leads, which is standard practice these days.Vanguard Records, the company that released these original 1960s era recordings, came out with this "Best of" album in the late 1990s, with over 65 minutes of tunes, many of which have become standards by other artists, like "Rising Sun Blues" (known to most of us as "The House of the Rising Sun," although with a different tune), "Tennessee Stud" (a great horse song), "Down in the Valley To Pray" (an inspiring white spiritual), "Tom Dooley" (quite different from the Kingston Trio version), "Alberta" (about a girl, not a province in Canada), "Black Mountain Rag" (still one of my favorite bluegrass guitar instrumentals, "Grandfather's Clock" ("...it stopped short, never to go again when the old man died"), "Doc's Guitar" (if only I could play half that fast), and "Crawdad Hole."While a few cuts on this album are done with a bluegrass band, on most he is alone, or with one other guitarist (including his late son, Merle). On these more intimate cuts it still feels like he's sitting at his kitchen table playing just for me (or you, if you get this CD). If you like bluegrass, or simply some of the best acoustic guitar ever recorded, this is highly recommended!"
Doc Watson - A musician's musician
Leonard Lewis | San Jose, CA USA | 10/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a bluegrass musician myself, as well as a choral singer my tastes range from Baroque to Folk and classic Rock. In that wide disparity, if I had to count the five finest musicians I know, Doc would be a must in the group. Real musicians love fine music, regardless of the genre, and Doc's clean, crisp delivery - both vocal and (of course, mainly) playing is literally without peer. Doc's finest are so enjoyable that I can listen to them over and over. I never hesitate to 'turn on' another music lover to Doc; indeed I spent a pleasant half hour one day introducing Maestro Leroy Kromm, director of the San Jose Symphonic Choir, to Doc's fine work. Leroy agreed with me that here was a pearl among masters."
Volkert Volkersz | 07/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very enjoyable music. Since I live in the same general area as Doc Watson, many of the songs he sings (i.e. Omie Wise, Shady Grove, etc.) are the same songs that my mother sang to me as a child like her mother sang to her. These songs are dear to my heart and Doc does an excellent singing them."