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Doc Watson Underrated?

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DEEP RIVER BLUES


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Elmore 25 Oct 20 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,gillymor 25 Oct 20 - 05:12 AM
Acorn4 25 Oct 20 - 05:24 AM
DonMeixner 25 Oct 20 - 10:14 AM
Felipa 25 Oct 20 - 12:49 PM
Bill D 25 Oct 20 - 02:09 PM
Mrrzy 25 Oct 20 - 02:21 PM
cnd 25 Oct 20 - 03:28 PM
DonMeixner 25 Oct 20 - 03:49 PM
cnd 25 Oct 20 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,gillymor 25 Oct 20 - 04:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Mar 23 - 09:09 PM
Thomas Stern 03 Mar 23 - 09:30 PM
beachcomber 10 Mar 23 - 08:10 AM
gillymor 10 Mar 23 - 10:53 AM
meself 10 Mar 23 - 08:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Mar 23 - 09:48 PM
Neil D 12 Mar 23 - 06:29 AM
gillymor 12 Mar 23 - 08:19 AM
Charmion 13 Mar 23 - 04:51 PM
meself 13 Mar 23 - 06:36 PM
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Subject: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Elmore
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 12:44 AM

No, not as a guitarist, (obviously), but as a singer. Doc could do justice to a traditional ballad, or to a pop song like Summertime. I miss him. YouTube is a blessing, and a curse.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 05:12 AM

Not underrated by me, he had a commanding way with not just traditional ballads but also Western Swing, Rockabilly, Country Blues, Pop, Country, Bluegrass etc.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Acorn4
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 05:24 AM

His version of "Down in the Valley to Pray" is classic.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 10:14 AM

Not under rated by anyone I know. Under appreciated by the world at large maybe.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Felipa
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 12:49 PM

the man is famous in the right circles, how can you think we under-rate him?


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 02:09 PM

I get the feeling that he would not have sung himself unless he felt he was good enough...
In about 1971, I heard him live in Winfield.. with Merle. Some group in the audience kept teasingly shouting, "Sing, Merle!"
   Doc finally leaned up to the mic and said, "No, he's not going to... to tell you the truth, I don't believe the boy CAN sing!"

Everyone shut up, kinda startled. It was hard to tell how serious he was, but Merle did not sing.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 02:21 PM

Marvelously gifted musician.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: cnd
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 03:28 PM

On the album Live and Pickin' that Doc did with Merle, I believe he made a similar joke, Bill D. It was more clearly in jest there, though, as he(?) and at the very least the audience laughed. I can't recall which song in particular it was on, though.

I can agree with Elmore that Doc is much more famous for his guitar work than his singing, and that his excellent voice is sometimes overshadowed by it.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 03:49 PM

And the same with a Vanguard Two Fer. Doc and Merle Live in Cornell.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: cnd
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 04:02 PM

My mistake, that was the album I was thinking of--not Live and Pickin.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 04:15 PM

On the On Stage LP a girl cried out "sing one Merle" and Doc responded something like "she sounded almost pretty enough to persuade you to sing". Not sure how the young lady felt about that left-handed compliment.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Mar 23 - 09:09 PM

There was a replay of an interview on Fresh Air today.

Watson, who died in 2012, was born in North Carolina went on to become widely regarded as the single greatest flat-picking guitar player in America. Originally broadcast in 1988 and 1989.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 03 Mar 23 - 09:30 PM

from Smithsonian-Folkways e-mail:
Happy birthday, Doc Watson! Born in the rural community of Deep Gap, North Carolina, on March 3, 1923, Watson would be celebrating his 100th birthday today. He was one of nine children in a large musical family, and grew up listening to hymns, ballads, and down-home string band music. From earliest childhood, Doc played the harmonica, a “stocking stuffer” present from his mother, and at age seven he got a homemade banjo from his father.

He was “discovered” by folklorists Ralph Rinzler and Eugene Earle in the late summer of 1960, and would go on to become one of America’s most highly regarded acoustic guitarists. He performed at the White House for President Jimmy Carter, and earned eight GRAMMY Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award).

"Doc was generous with his time. He would speak with people between sets and show aspiring guitarists how he did things," wrote producer Peter K. Siegel. "Talk to people today about Doc Watson and you will likely find someone who got an informal guitar lesson after a college concert, and another person whom Doc visited for a home-cooked meal while he was on the road." Browse Watson's legendary discography in our catalog here.
Doc Watson - Smithsonian Folkways

Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: beachcomber
Date: 10 Mar 23 - 08:10 AM

Mrrzy, you used the term "Gifted musician" in relation to Doc, but are there such people who have an inherent talent that allows them to play with such excellence or, is it the original interest that they have that makes them work exceptionally hard to master an instrument ? I only ask in order to hear people's views, as one who, no matter how much work I put into practising musicianship, could never be deemed as anything more than "useful" !


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: gillymor
Date: 10 Mar 23 - 10:53 AM

As much as he obviously loved playing music I don't think he was fond of the life of a traveling musician, judging from interviews I've read and a conversation I had with him outside The Cellar Door after asking for advice on making music for a living. He basically said try everything else first. I think his blindness probably dictated his career path to a great degree and I recall reading that if it were possible for him he would have been an electrician.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: meself
Date: 10 Mar 23 - 08:34 PM

Getting back to the topic of the OP, I always felt that as a singer he 'did the job', his singing being nowhere near his ability on guitar and harmonica.

On the subject of his feelings about 'the life of a traveling musician', here's the quote (from a site that's disappeared):
    I would rather have a job where I could go home at night. I would have played music, of course. There's no doubt about that. Because I think you're born with music or whatever talent that comes out front in your blood, as the old-timers used to say, and you just couldn't help but pick the first time a guitar came along. You'd learn it. But it would have been a hobby. I'd like to have been a carpenter or an electrician or something kind of work like that, or a mechanic, if I could see. I can do rough carpenter work anyway.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Mar 23 - 09:48 PM

I was surprised with the Fresh Air episode I linked above that it was Doc Watson being interviewed. I turned on the program in progress and they were playing a recording. He sounded just like Geoff Muldaur, whose voice and vocal style I really like.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Neil D
Date: 12 Mar 23 - 06:29 AM

He's my favorite guitarist. What made him a great musician was how he used his guitar playing to serve the song rather than the other way around like so many of today's guitar heroes.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: gillymor
Date: 12 Mar 23 - 08:19 AM

To me his singing, storytelling and stage presence were just as important as his phenomenal playing. He was the whole enchilada.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Mar 23 - 04:51 PM

Under-rated? By whom? No one whose opinion matters, I'm sure.


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Subject: RE: Doc Watson Underrated?
From: meself
Date: 13 Mar 23 - 06:36 PM

Other than in this thread, I've never heard anyone praise his singing - so, if I thought he were a wonderful singer, I too would probably think he was 'underrated'. Not saying that my opinion matters, though - other than to me ... !


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