Black Mountain Rag

Black Mountain Rag

by Doc & Merle Watson


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Black Mountain Rag

Black Mountain Rag is drawn from Doc and Merle Watson's three early-'80s albums for Flying Fish Records (1981's Red Rocking Chair, 1983's Doc & Merle Watson's Guitar Album, and Watson Country, which in turn was a sort of a best-of the Flying Fish years), and what is immediately striking about this compilation is how varied it is, even as it settles nicely into familiar "Watson country." Doc Watson is incapable of ever making a bad album, given his warm, easy singing style (Watson's vocals sound eerily like Jack Teagarden's, if Teagarden had been born in North Carolina instead of Texas and had played guitar instead of trombone and had devoted his career to traditional music instead of jazz) and his simply stunning acoustic guitar playing, but here he shows how at home he and Merle are with not only traditional folk fare ("Red Rocking Chair," "Mole in the Ground") but also Western swing ("Smoke, Smoke, Smoke"), organic bluegrass ("Blackberry Blossom"), fiddle tunes reconfigured for guitar ("Fisher's Hornpipe/Devil's Dream"), straight jazz (the Gershwins' "Liza/Lady Be Good") and even a hybrid that might be termed Appalachian jazz (the striking "Below Freezing," which features clarinet lines from Tom Scott). A young Mark O'Connor plays fiddle on several tracks here, and Byron Berline takes a turn at the fiddle for "Down Yonder." There's also a 1990 trio recording ("Blackberry Blossom") featuring Doc with Norman Blake and Tony Rice, which is here as a sort of bonus track. Again, there's no such thing as a bad Doc Watson album, and this one, like all the others, shows why he's a true national treasure.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/19/2006
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661162020
catalogNumber: 611620
Rank: 117208

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Doc & Merle Watson   Primary Artist
Norman Blake   Guitar
Tony Rice   Guitar
Doc Watson   Guitar,Vocals
Tom Scott   Clarinet
T. Michael Coleman   Bass Guitar
Gene Estes   Percussion
Mark O'Connor   Fiddle
Herb Pedersen   Vocals
Ron Tutt   Drums
Merle Watson   Banjo,Guitar,Slide Guitar

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Merle Travis   Composer
Doc Watson   Composer
Tom Paxton   Composer
Dan Fogelberg   Composer
T. Michael Coleman   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Mitch Greenhill   Audio Production
Gus Kahn   Composer
James Paris   Composer
Alton Delmore   Composer
Jack Norworth   Composer
Albert Von Tilzer   Composer
Traditional   Composer
George Hill   Composer
Paul Williams   Composer

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Black Mountain Rag 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
This is the second Rounder retrospective of Doc and Merle's Flying Fish recordings (Sittin Here Pickin' the Blues was the first). The late Seventies found the Watsons trying a more mainstream country sound but at FF the went back to their roots and a simpler approach. Both anthologies feature father and son in peak form. This one has a few tracks from outside their traditional style but all of them are given the Watson treatment. Sidemen include a young Mark O'Connor and bass player T. Michael Coleman.