I woke up on this overcast, rainy sunday with the intention of posting about a gig that I have this Wednesday at Sappho’s (see sidebar on right or facebook event here)…However, following a quick email check, I discovered that one of my heroes – The great finger and flat picking bluegrass/country/americana guitarist Doc Watson has sadly passed away at the ripe old age of 89.
The email was part of a newsletter that I receive from the great tuition site Homespun Tapes.
The email read:
REMBERING DOC WATSON 3/3/1923 – 29/5/2012
It’s hard to put into words the profound impact we felt when we first heard Doc Watson’s old-time songs and guitar picking. Since he arrived on the national scene in the early ’60s, generations of players have been inspired to try their hand at “Black Mountain Rag” or “Deep River Blues,” but rarely has anyone achieved the subtle tone and rock-solid rhythmic pulse that Doc seemed to do so effortlessly. His music has been heard by millions, but it was his down-home humility and brilliant, inquiring mind, as much as his musical virtuosity, that captivated his friends and fans.
Here at Homespun, we were honored to have worked with Doc on two instructional DVDs. Our friendship with him also led to our annual participation as sponsors in MerleFest, the great music event he hosted not far from his home in Deep Gap, NC. Doc will be greatly missed, but his music will live on as long as people sing traditional mountain songs and pick fiddle tunes and country blues on banjos and guitars.
To show my respect for such an artist, I’ve decided to spend all of today learning a few of his tunes to play this Wednesday evening at Sappho’s. I’ll try and get someone to video so I can post up here.
Also! The Sappho’s gig has no wet weather plan and is out in a courtyard, so fingers crossed that the rain holds out!