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Doc & Richard Watson

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Whether it’s a Gerswhin chestnut, a Jimmie Rodgers blues or something torn from the contemporary pop songbook, part of Doc Watson’s particular genius has always been the ability to make every song he touches sound like it grew from the soil of his childhood home in the Great Smoky Mountains. While he may not have grown the songs themselves at home, he’s sure helped raise up some fine musicians. Some of his most memorable music was produced in tandem with his late son Merle, and on Third Generation Blues, Merle’s son Richard joins in, expertly extending the tradition of the Watson family.

While there’s no question that Doc and Merle were capable of picking some blistering hot licks, one of the most appealing features of their music was always their sense of scale, using no more of their amazing technical facilities than necessary to deliver the best possible interpretation of a tune. Richard Watson follows that practice, delivering quiet rhythms and agile lead runs behind Doc’s voice and guitar. Frequent Watson collaborator T. Michael Coleman provides support on the bass.

The third generation of guitar pickin’ Watsons has emerged, and no matter what they call the result, it’s no reason to be blue.

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