SOLD OUT: Doc Watson

A phenomenal flatpicker guitarist also packing a rich, mellifluous tenor voice, Doc Watson is an icon of mountain music and a living legend whose influence runs deep through generations of guitarists and others who admire his remarkably pure, unaffected artistry. At 87, he's cut back on touring in recent years but remains an engaging musician and storyteller in concert. Blind since he was born in the mountains of North Carolina, Watson is also an accomplished fingerpicker and banjoist. He derived his distinctive style from the likes of Merle Travis and Jimmie Rodgers, delving into folk, country, bluegrass, blues, and gospel. His career got a boost during the 1960s folk revival, then again a decade or so later when he performed on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's landmark album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Watson's version of "Tennessee Stud" on that record became a progressive radio staple. For many years Doc teamed up with his son Merle (also a prodigious guitarist, named after Travis) until Merle was killed in a farm accident in 1985. Shortly after, Doc began presiding over Merlefest, an annual tribute that has grown into one of the country's largest festivals. David Holt is one of several musicians Doc has performed with in duo format following Merle's death. Holt is a first-rate guitarist, banjoist, and slide guitarist with a slew of his own albums and several with Watson. (Photo by Jim Gavenus)
Sat., May 15, 7 p.m., 2010

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