Doc Watson, R.I.P.

Sad news this morning: Doc Watson is dead at 89.

For those of you who have been bluegrass-deprived all your sorry, empty lives, here’s a sample:

And here’s some plain and fancy flat-picking:

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

6 thoughts on “Doc Watson, R.I.P.”

  1. A uniquely beloved figure who combined awe-inspiring virtuosity with a warm, humble stage presence.I first heard Doc play at the 1961 University of Chicago Folk Festival, and over the next 50 years he never disappointed. A long, rich life.

  2. How in the world do you have the giant brass ones to post a Doc Watson homage showing him finger-picking? Yeah, it’s great and all, but good lord . . . the man was the greatest flatpicker ever!

  3. Doc Watson will indeed be missed.

    That having been said, how can anyone call a selection with neither a fiddle nor a mandolin “bluegrass”? The Deep River Blues video is a god example of old-fashioned thumb and forefinger Travis-picking, and Southbound, with its alternating bass noted, includes a predominant amount of fingerstyle as well. For a better example of flatpicking, try Black Mountain Rag.

    Just because something is purely acoustic doesn’t mean it qualifies as bluegrass. (Incidentally, Doc Watson named his late son for Merle Travis, whom he had then never met.)

    Another bit of trivia. Travis-picking is the only genre of guitar music named for an individual.

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