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Doc Watson - The Definitive

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The Definitive

Doc Watson

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Arthel "Doc" Watson was nearly 40 years old and had been playing guitar and banjo most of his life when he was discovered as part of the folk music revival of the early '60s; Watson was a remarkably gifted instrumentalist who had a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of traditional folk and country songs, and he became a cornerstone artist on the folk music scene, as he recorded and toured regularly until his death in 2012. A massive influence on such pickers as Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, and Clarence White, Watson left behind a massive body of work, and The Definitive Doc Watson is a two-disc set that brings together highlights from his recordings for Vanguard and Sugar Hill Records. While this means that a large portion of Watson's catalog is left unrepresented, Vanguard and Sugar Hill happen to be two of the labels with which Watson had the longest and most fruitful relationship, so this gives the set a broader focus than one might imagine. And while this set is a bit short of truly being "definitive" -- it would take a cross-licensed box set to truly fit that description -- there's plenty of great music here, and these 34 tracks show off Watson's warm, rich, unaffected vocals, superlative flat-picked guitar, and impressive banjo work to excellent advantage. A collection of essential songs performed by a master of the form, The Definitive Doc Watson is a fine introduction to a giant of American folk music, and a strong if somewhat limited sampler of his recording career.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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The Definitive

Doc Watson

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1
Rye Cove
00:02:21

A.P. CARTER, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson Family, MainArtist

℗ 2006 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

2
St. Louis Blues
00:02:34

W.C. Handy, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist

℗ 2001 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

3
The House Carpenter
00:03:54

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist

℗ 2001 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

4
The Wagoner's Lad
00:03:16

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist

℗ 2001 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

5
Anniversary Blue Yodel Blue Yodel #7
00:02:10

Jimmie Rodgers, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson Family, MainArtist

℗ 2006 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

6
Sittin On Top Of The World
00:02:38

Lonnie Carter, ComposerLyricist - Walter Jacobs, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1964 Vanguard Records

7
Black Mountain Rag
00:01:33

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist - Arthel Lane Watson, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2013 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

8
Country Blues
00:03:31

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist - Dock Boggs, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2013 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

9
Weary Blues
00:02:43

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1997 Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company

10
Little Sadie
00:02:01

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist - Merle Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1997 Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company

11
Dream Of The Miner's Child
00:02:50

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist - Merle Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1995 Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company

12
Southbound
00:02:52

Doc Watson, MainArtist - Merle Watson, ComposerLyricist - Arthel Lane Watson, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1990 Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company

13
Tennessee Stud
00:03:38

JIMMIE DRIFTWOOD, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

14
Blue Railroad Train
00:02:45

Alton Delmore, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

15
Georgie
00:02:46

Doc Watson, MainArtist - Arthel Lane Watson, ComposerLyricist - Gaither Carlton, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1996 Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company

16
Katie Morey
00:02:24

Doc Watson, MainArtist - Arthel Lane Watson, ComposerLyricist - Dwight Greer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1996 Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company

17
Matty Groves
00:06:03

Doc Watson, MainArtist - Arthel Lane Watson, ComposerLyricist - Dwight Greer, ComposerLyricist - Stewart Yonce, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1996 Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company

DISC 2

1
Whistlin' Rufus
00:04:03

Dan Crary, MainArtist - Traditional, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2006 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

2
Big Spike Hammer
00:03:14

MARTY STUART, FeaturedArtist - Sam Bush, FeaturedArtist - Alan O'Bryant, FeaturedArtist - Pete Goble, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist - Bobby Osborne, ComposerLyricist - Merle Watson, MainArtist - T. Michael Coleman, Producer, FeaturedArtist

℗ 1998 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

3
Listening To The Rain
00:03:15

MARTY STUART, FeaturedArtist - Sam Bush, FeaturedArtist - Alan O'Bryant, FeaturedArtist - Doc Watson, MainArtist - Merle Watson, MainArtist - T. Michael Coleman, Producer, FeaturedArtist - Donald E. J. Devanney, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

4
Willie Moore
00:04:04

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc & Merle Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1971 Vanguard Records

5
My Rough & Rowdy Ways
00:02:31

Elsie McWilliams, ComposerLyricist - Jimmie Rodgers, ComposerLyricist - Doc & Merle Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1971 Vanguard Records

6
The Wreck Of The Old #9
00:02:57

Carson J. Robison, ComposerLyricist - Doc & Merle Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1971 Vanguard Records

7
Omie Wise
00:05:26

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc & Merle Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1992 Sugar Hill Records

8
Shady Grove
00:02:58

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist - Arthel Lane Watson, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2013 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

9
Watson's Blues
00:03:32

MARTY STUART, MainArtist - Bill Monroe, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1993 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

10
Slidin' Delta
00:02:03

John S. Hurt, ComposerLyricist - Doc & Merle Watson, MainArtist

℗ 2007 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

11
Bright Sunny South
00:02:37

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, Arranger, Work Arranger - Doc & Merle Watson, MainArtist

℗ 2007 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

12
Greenville Trestle High
00:03:27

Doc Watson, MainArtist - Jimmy Jett, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2013 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

13
The Old Home
00:02:14

Carter Stanley, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist

℗ 1986 Sugar Hill Records

14
George Gudger's Overalls
00:03:26

Doc Watson, MainArtist - Lawrence A. Hammond, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1993 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

15
The Ninety And Nine
00:02:35

Elizabeth Clephane, ComposerLyricist - Doc Watson, MainArtist - Ira David Sankey, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2013 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

16
Your Lone Journey Sugar Hill Version
00:02:48

Doc Watson, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Rosa Lee Watson, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1993 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

17
Whiskey Before Breakfast
00:02:52

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Bryan Sutton, MainArtist

℗ 2006 Sugar Hill Records, A Welk Music Group Company

Album Description

Arthel "Doc" Watson was nearly 40 years old and had been playing guitar and banjo most of his life when he was discovered as part of the folk music revival of the early '60s; Watson was a remarkably gifted instrumentalist who had a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of traditional folk and country songs, and he became a cornerstone artist on the folk music scene, as he recorded and toured regularly until his death in 2012. A massive influence on such pickers as Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, and Clarence White, Watson left behind a massive body of work, and The Definitive Doc Watson is a two-disc set that brings together highlights from his recordings for Vanguard and Sugar Hill Records. While this means that a large portion of Watson's catalog is left unrepresented, Vanguard and Sugar Hill happen to be two of the labels with which Watson had the longest and most fruitful relationship, so this gives the set a broader focus than one might imagine. And while this set is a bit short of truly being "definitive" -- it would take a cross-licensed box set to truly fit that description -- there's plenty of great music here, and these 34 tracks show off Watson's warm, rich, unaffected vocals, superlative flat-picked guitar, and impressive banjo work to excellent advantage. A collection of essential songs performed by a master of the form, The Definitive Doc Watson is a fine introduction to a giant of American folk music, and a strong if somewhat limited sampler of his recording career.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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