Doc Watson (1923-2012): An Appreciation

Share this:

It’s funny how certain bits of music can get under your skin. Several years ago, I was having a visit with my old buddy Gene out in upstate New York. We were sitting in his living room, sliding doors open wide to the cool and fragrant summer air, while listening to a short stack of LPs. Gene put on an old Doc Watson record and my ears perked up. I knew the Watson name, and probably even owned Will The Circle Be Unbroken, but there was something about the combination of the notes (from an album coming out of the Vanguard era) and the time of the year that made the music shimmer.

Doc Watson was said to be quite modest about his guitar-picking abilities, which is really something if you give him a listen. Further, take a look at the accolades he’s received over the years. Sure, there will be tons of appreciations written over the next week or so, but praise directed at the man is nothing new. He was an enormous influence and will continue to be for some time. Sadly, I never had a chance to see Watson play live.

When Leo Kottke’s Home & Away Revisited live DVD came out, there was an incredible scene with Leo jamming on “Last Steam Engine Train” with Watson and the equally iconic Chet Atkins. Fluid and rapid-fire lines flew from Watsons’ guitar. He made it look easy.

I began a review of Kottke’s DVD with:

The music starts playing and every little bit of you pays attention. This is a musical connection.

That’s exactly what happened to me that summer evening in Oneonta, New York. It’s a connection that will never be broken.

Thanks Doc!

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B001IB8S40″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000TDFLLQ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000EBGEF0″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
Share this:
Close