Doc Watson’s birthday was this past Friday. He would have turned one hundred on March third. I celebrated with my best jamming buddies by cutting short our session and walking down the street to hear Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley.
We were fortunate to get tickets and the place was full of well known musicians like Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Eric Thompson, Kathy Kallick (just a few of the luminaries spotted). Peter Rowan and Maria Muldaur were there too and got up on stage for a couple of numbers.
As I watched enthralled by the music it was obvious to me just how much Doc Watson meant to all of these fine musicians and how much his music has meant to me and people like me over the years.
I first was exposed to Doc’s music in the seventies when a friend loaned me a copy of an album by “Doc Watson, Merle Watson and the Frosty Morning Band”. What a great album that was. Unfortunately it melted in the front seat of my car on a very hot Charleston afternoon.
But fortunately I was continually exposed to more great music by the guitar genius over the next years. I doubt there’s any good flat picker out there today who hasn’t been influenced by Doc Watson.
I ran into my good friend David Thiessen at the concert. Those of you who know David know what a phenomenal mandolinist he is from the Mighty Chiplings to Pacific Drive. I’d love to see what David could do with this Doc classic recorded with Bill Monroe. This 13 year old does a pretty good job too.