DOC WATSON - 1923 - 2012
He will be missed.
Years before the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" album, I was infatuated with Doc's guitar styles, of which he had many. Fingerpicking was especially appealing and "approachable," but his flat picking always seemed to come from a space where only he was allowed to play. I am glad I took the initiative to ask Doc to record with the the band. He was kind of familiar with us because of his son, Merel.
Merel had played our music for Doc - he liked the harmonica, banjo styles, acoustic guitar and the vocals. And I could also tell him Earl Scruggs had just agreed to record with us two weeks earlier.
Doc said simply, "Well, if Earl's going to be there to pick, I want to too." It was that night I put him on the phone with my brother. (our producer at the time.) Doc was the real deal.
I felt like we were on the verge of making some historical recordings... and, thanks to Doc's contribution, we did. (Now in the Library of Congress, the Will the Circle Be Unbroken, our Triple Platinum album is considered one of the most important of American recordings).
Doc's influence will be felt for many years, as he was a true American treasure who has continually seen more and more people become his followers.
I miss him, and hope others will still discover his music the way I did - on records that transport you to a place you have never been, but wish you had found earlier.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band