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Essential Doc Watson
     

The Essential Doc Watson

by Doc Watson
 
It's a measure of how succinct Doc Watson's interpretations of traditional music are that this 26-song collection is one of the few Vanguard double-LP compilations to make it onto CD completely intact, with no songs eliminated, and it still clocks in at under 70 minutes. It's also one of the better sounding of the Welk Music Group's mid-'80s CD reissues from the

Overview

It's a measure of how succinct Doc Watson's interpretations of traditional music are that this 26-song collection is one of the few Vanguard double-LP compilations to make it onto CD completely intact, with no songs eliminated, and it still clocks in at under 70 minutes. It's also one of the better sounding of the Welk Music Group's mid-'80s CD reissues from the Vanguard catalog, and one only wishes that the label could have included a set of liner notes about the performer. The first half of this disc (and the first LP of the original double album) is made up of studio recordings that feature Watson working solo, in a small-group setting, and also accompanied by a full band of top Nashville session musicians, including Grady Martin, Tommy Jackson, and Buddy Spicher; tracks 13-26 were recorded live at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964 and 1965, and feature a relaxed, outgoing Watson accompanied by no more than a pair of musicians. As for the music itself, it's about as wide and varied a body as one could wish for -- from Watson's very stylized versions of "Tom Dooley," "Shady Grove," and "Rising Sun Blues" (his rendition of "House of the Rising Sun") to gospel numbers, all of it beguiling in its musicianship as well as its content. Watson's singing and playing are sweeter on the studio sides, but the live tracks show him in a relaxed, outgoing mood. Although it's not as thorough an account of his musicianship as the four-CD Vanguard Years compilation, this disc does give any neophyte a good look at what he's about, and the music is excellent on its own terms.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Vanguard Records
UPC:
0015707454629
catalogNumber:
45/46
Rank:
49518

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Doc Watson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Harmonica,Vocals
Floyd Cramer   Piano
Buddy Spicher   Fiddle
Eric Weissberg   Bass
Don Stover   Banjo
Grady Martin   Dobro,Guitar
Clint Howard   Vocals
Shot Jackson   Dobro
Gaither Carlton   Fiddle
Buddy Harman   Drums
Roy M. "Junior" Husky   Bass
Tommy Jackson   Fiddle
Arnold Watson   Banjo,Vocals
Merle Watson   Guitar
Mrs. General Dixon Watson   Vocals
Fred Price   Fiddle
Russ Savacus   Bass

Technical Credits

Jimmie Rodgers   Contributor
Doc Watson   Arranger,Adaptation,Guitar Arrangements
Dock Boggs   Arranger,Composer,Adaptation
Jack Lothrop   Producer
Ralph Rinzler   Producer
Elsie McWilliams   Contributor
Traditional   Composer

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