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Dock Boggs

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Moran Lee “Dock” Boggs (February 7, 1898–February 7, 1971) was an influential old-time singer, songwriter and banjo player. His style of play, as well as his singing, is considered a unique combination of old-time Appalachian mountain music and the blues. Boggs is deemed by contemporary old-time musicians and performers as a seminal figure in old-time music, at least in part because of the appearance of two of his recordings from the 1920s, “Sugar Baby” and “Country Blues”, on the influential Anthology of American Folk Music collection.

Boggs was born in Norton, Virginia and began working in the coal mines of Appalachia at the age of twelve. At around this time, Boggs became interested in the banjo. As was the case of many musicians and performers of his era, Boggs learned to play the banjo watching and listening to family members and other performers, drawing additional influence from local African American musicians.

Boggs, while playing a traditional-style of play, did not play in the knock-down, sometimes called clawhammer or frailing style, instead employing a three-finger method that involved picking upwards on the strings of the banjo and permitted him to execute crisp single-note runs in a manner similar to that of a fingerstyle guitarist. Nevertheless, Boggs’ style should not be confused with the bluegrass style of playing otherwise known as Scruggs style, made famous by Earl Scruggs, which also involves up-picking the banjo strings.

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  • cassiecleveland

    Didn't know what I was getting into at first but ended up loving the shit out of it.

    1 May 11:42pm Reply
  • gennyisrad

    Dock made me fall in love with banjo music.

    19 Jan 5:27am Reply
  • asbestos_pie

    His playing is pretty good, but that voice is like nails on a chalkboard.

    9 Nov 2013 Reply
  • katti85

    It's so hurtful & so healing at same time→ his voice I mean.

    19 Oct 2013 Reply
  • IamFlood

    Beautiful, like roadkill.

    18 Oct 2013 Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    his later recordings pale in comparison to the ABSOLUTE GLORY of country blues, but they're still killer

    20 Sep 2013 Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    oh this man, this man! I can't put into words how much I love him and his voice

    20 Sep 2013 Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    \/ that's how I imagine my old age will be like

    30 Mar 2013 Reply
  • bgk90

    I love how the Dad character that Werner Herzog plays in Julien Donkey Boy listens to "Sugar Baby" on repeat all day while chugging cough medicine.

    11 Mar 2013 Reply
  • JoshCIVM

    That voice makes me want to draw the shades and hide in the bathroom.

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • plothead31

    R.I.P.

    17 Apr 2012 Reply
  • darkbrain59

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 Sep 2011 Reply
  • Echos_Myron

    I never realize how creepy old time music can be until I listen to Dock.

    25 Jul 2011 Reply
  • UnaXoto

    Nothing beats Dock!

    13 Nov 2010 Reply
  • LanFill

    hadn't listened to much banjo before.. interesting sounds

    13 Nov 2010 Reply
  • Haxlol

    This dude is bad ass.

    24 Feb 2010 Reply
  • oldhomehaibane

    His version of Pretty Polly is still the best I've ever heard-it actually sends chills running down my spine every time I listen to it. Similarly, Boggs' 1927 Brunswick recordings are some of the best you'll ever hear in old-time music, though I don't care much for the songs he recorded for W.E. Myer's Lonesome Ace label. They always struck me as being quite weak and lacking the emotional punch of songs like Sugar Baby, Country Blues, Down South Blues, and Pretty Polly. In terms of sheer emotional power in this kind of music Boggs can only be matched by the "high lonesome sound" of Roscoe Holcomb.

    9 Sep 2009 Reply
  • Smirnon

    pro stuff

    9 Sep 2009 Reply
  • pudelua

    спасибо нравиться)))

    21 Jul 2009 Reply
  • OGTL

    what a gangster

    26 Jun 2009 Reply
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