Thursday, May 31, 2012

Doc Watson (1923-2012)

Photo by Peter Figen
One of the enduring pleasures of a baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park is listening to Doc Watson and his son Merle pick their way through “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (from their album: Doc & Merle Watson’s Guitar Album).

Doc died the other day and we here in North Carolina (and the rest of the world) are going to miss him.

Just about every guitar player I ever met has at one time or the other attempted to emulate Doc Watkins’ flat-picking style (although he was no slouch at finger-picking either). Along with Merle Travis and Chet Atkins, he re-defined how to play the flat-topped acoustic guitar.

Most of all, he just made wonderful music. For those who are interested in his life and his music, a great place to start is Pinecone’s website, which has links to any number of tributes. A search on Youtube will find lots of videos. And for 99¢ you can download "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from iTunes.

I hear rumors that Doc might be honored at the DBAP at some point during the next home stand. I hope he is. And I hope to keep on listening to Doc and Merle every 7th inning for a very long time into the future.

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