Songs from Home

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
After stints on Folkways and Vanguard Records in the '60s and early '70s, Doc Watson contracted with the independent Poppy label, which earned a distribution deal with United Artists UA in the wake of the success of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1972 UA album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, on which Watson appeared. Having released Elementary Doctor Watson! on Poppy in 1972, followed by Then and Now in 1973 and Two Days in November in 1974 all of these albums actually co-credited to Doc & Merle Watson, he next issued the double-LP Memories directly on UA in 1975, following with 1976's Doc and the Boys and then three more Doc & Merle albums, 1977's Lonesome Road, ...
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USA 2002 CD SS/SS Stickered: "17 classic recordings". Many include Merle.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
After stints on Folkways and Vanguard Records in the '60s and early '70s, Doc Watson contracted with the independent Poppy label, which earned a distribution deal with United Artists UA in the wake of the success of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1972 UA album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, on which Watson appeared. Having released Elementary Doctor Watson! on Poppy in 1972, followed by Then and Now in 1973 and Two Days in November in 1974 all of these albums actually co-credited to Doc & Merle Watson, he next issued the double-LP Memories directly on UA in 1975, following with 1976's Doc and the Boys and then three more Doc & Merle albums, 1977's Lonesome Road, 1978's Look Away!, and 1979's Live and Pickin'. Four of those eight albums made the country charts, and one, Memories, even made the pop charts, but that was the end of Watson's sojourn with a large national label; by 1981, he was back to recording for the small folkie independent Flying Fish. This 49-minute, 17-track compilation draws on the Poppy/UA catalog, long since acquired by Capitol Records. Just as Watson's pact with UA was a response to the success of the traditional Will the Circle Be Unbroken, this release, part of a series of Capitol country and bluegrass compilations, is a response to the success of the traditional O Brother, Where Art Thou? Fine, if that's what it takes. The team of Watson, father and son, is in fine form on these recordings, which include covers of material by Mississippi John Hurt, Jimmie Rodgers, and others, plus traditional tunes. "Big Sandy/Leather Britches" was a deserving recipient of the 1979 Grammy Award for best country instrumental performance. The recording quality is high and the performances are stellar, making this an excellent sampler of Watson's music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/22/2002
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 724354179624
  • Catalog Number: 41796

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 My Creole Belle - Merle Watson (2:42)
  2. 2 T for Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1) (3:48)
  3. 3 Big Sandy/Leather Britches - Merle Watson (1:51)
  4. 4 Shady Grove (2:40)
  5. 5 Matchbox Blues - Merle Watson (3:32)
  6. 6 Rambling Hobo (1:51)
  7. 7 Southbound Passenger Train (2:24)
  8. 8 Little Beggar Man/Old Joe Clark - Merle Watson (2:10)
  9. 9 Wild Bill Jones - Merle Watson (2:53)
  10. 10 Bonaparte's Retreat (2:03)
  11. 11 Wake Up, Little Maggie (2:53)
  12. 12 Double File and Salt Creek (1:41)
  13. 13 Daybreak Blues - Merle Watson (4:00)
  14. 14 Peartree (2:21)
  15. 15 My Rose of Old Kentucky (2:39)
  16. 16 St. James Hospital/Frosty Morn - Merle Watson (6:29)
  17. 17 Freight Train Boogie (3:00)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Doc Watson Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Colin Escott Liner Notes
Bryan Kelley Producer
Gregg Ogorzelec Producer
Shannon Ward Producer
Susan Lavoie Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good overview of some of the songcarrier's best works

    On March 3, 2003, Artheal Lane Watson turns eighty years old. As only a boy of thirteen, he was given his first guitar, and he has never looked back since he began busking at taxi stands, playing in country or rockabilly bands, or finding his niche as a song-carrier. For over sixty years, he's been simply known as "Doc" when a bandleader noted that his real name was too hard to say. Drawing upon his rich traditional musical heritage, Doc Watson developed a unique and influential style that was accepted by fans of old-time country, bluegrass and folk music. With his forceful flatpicking and passionate singing, Watson plays the music he loves without ever straying too far from his musical roots. Doc once said, "If a song has something to say, I'm liable to sing it if I like it." On "Songs From Home," there are seventeen tracks of his traditional favorites, many cuts which have already been released. Only two songs (T For Texas, and Matchbox Blues) are previously unreleased. The latter was from a live performance, as are Big Sandy/Leather Britches, Southbound Passenger Train, Wild Bill Jones and Daybreak Blues. Along with his son, Merle, some of these songs also feature the band, Frosty Morn, which the Watsons assembled in the late-70s. I wish this album's liner notes would have recognized the musicians who are accompanying. Although Merle died in 1985, seven of the song selections on this album feature just the father-son duo. These include My Creole Belle, Big Sandy/Leather Britches, Matchbox Blues, Little Beggar Man/Old Joe Clark, Wild Bill Jones, Daybreak Blues, St. James Hospital/Frosty Morn. This album presents a superb overview of Doc Watson's musical genius and talent. A real treat is to hear Doc pick his fretless banjo on Rambling Hobo and Wild Bill Jones, as well as his acapella rendition of Wake Up, Little Maggie, and his inspired harmonica playing on Freight Train Boogie. With his compelling baritone and distinctive playing, Doc Watson the song-carrier has endured the ups and downs of a long, significant musical career. The album "Songs From Home" offers a good overview of some of his best work, true to his roots. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Super fine collection of '70s tracks from guitar legend

    Watson's legacy as a vocalist and guitar innovator (as well as a fine harmonica player!) are well documented in both print (including Colin Escott's newly penned liner notes for this set) and music. This disc selects tracks from a series of albums that Watson recorded for Poppy (later consumed by United Artists) from 1972 to 1979. ¶ By the early '70s Watson's late-blooming stardom (he was 40 when he made his legendary appearance at the Newport Folk Festival) was in full flower. His earlier work, first on Folkways, and then on Vanguard, had quickly cemented his legacy, and his 1972 star-turn on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" propelled him forward, even as the first-flush of folk-revival interest tapered off. It was at this time that he began playing regularly with his son, Merle, who is heard prominently throughout this collection. ¶ His 1970's run on Poppy/United Artists displays the full breadth of his music. There's a generous helping of bluegrass influence (most notably in the unique guitar picking style, derived from transposing fiddle tunes to his six-string, as well as the banjo playing on tunes like "Rambling Hobo"), but also some terrific blues (the sublime dual acoustic playing on a live take of "Matchbox Blues"), gospel (the seemingly impossible live harmony singing of "Southbound Passenger Train"), hill tunes (the mournful acapella performance of "Wake Up Little Maggie"), and incredibly woven tapestries of strings such as the guitar, banjo and fiddle lineup of "Bonaparte's Retreat." ¶ Among these seventeen tracks are previously unreleased takes of "T For Texas" and the aforementioned "Matchbox Blues." The other fifteen (reaching back as far as 1972's "Freight Train Boogie," and providing a generous helping from 1975's "Memories" LP -- often reported to be Watson's favorite of his own albums) provide a fine survey of Watson's 1970's recordings. This disc is both a finely curated collection in its own right, and an excellent map to the treasure chest of original albums that have been reissued on CD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ENCHANTING...

    Can't stop playing this great Doc Watson album. Lots of great songs for the price; no need to skip any of them. Can't think of anyplace this music won't add something very special to: boat, commute, road trip, backyard BBQ, and more. No sacrifice of good rich sound production, and you can hear the roots of the music back, and back, and back...

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