Milestones: Legends of the Doc Watson Clan

by | 9 Feb, 2013 | 1 comment

Milestones, Doc WatsonImagine you could roll back time and hang out with the incomparable Doc Watson and his family at every stage of the clan’s musical evolution.  Imagine listening to Doc’s mother sing her work songs, hearing stories about how his son Merle learned to play the guitar and seeing Doc blossom from his rural North Carolina roots into a world-renowned, multiple Grammy winner.

Well, thanks to the devoted labors of Doc Watson’s only daughter, Nancy Watson, along with a little input from Doc—one can have that intimate experience via the new and meticulously comprehensive 4-CD set, Milestones: Legends of the Doc Watson Clan.

I’m so happy that my project is finally seeing the light of day.  I’m looking forward to inviting everyone to be part of the family for a bit – Nancy Watson.

Created, conceived and compiled by Nancy Watson and produced by Roy Andrade, a member of the Bluegrass and Old Time Country Music Studies faculty at East Tennessee State University, the set boasts 94 unreleased songs and stories by Doc and other family members—plus collages of more than 500 Watson family photos.

This set is a broad and personal offering from within the Watson family itself and is presented with such care. It is both eclectic and traditional, and presents Doc Watson as he has never been heard before, but also features other members of the Watson Family.  It is a pleasure to help Nancy see this through – Roy Andrade.

The collection is not a repackaging of earlier releases. These are home recordings spanning from 1954 – 2007.   It is music and commentary, most of it recorded for personal entertainment, that was previously unavailable outside the Watson family.

These are just a few of the gems:

  • Doc, his brother Arnold and their mother Annie: “When I See Jesus” (1964).
  • Annie Watson: “The Churning Song” (1969)
  • Doc’s one-man band versions of “Boil Them Cabbage Down” and “Nine Pound Hammer” (1964)
  • Doc and wife Rosa Lee: “I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again” (1967)
  • Doc and Nancy: “Let The Rest Of The World Go By” (2006)
  • Doc:  “The Twelfth Of Never” (1974)
  • Doc on electric guitars and bass: “Stardust” (1955)
  • Doc, Rosa Lee and son Merle recall how “Merle Learns Guitar” (1984)
  • Doc and Merle: “Spanish Fandango” (1964)
  • Gaither Carlton – “Keep Your Lamps A-Burning” (1969)
  • Doc Watson – “Carolina Cabin” a Watson original (2006)
  • Doc Watson – “Twilight On The Trail” (1954)

The album is jointly annotated by Andrade, who, in addition to his academic achievements was a founding member of Reeltime Travelers, and the renowned musician and scholar Jody Stecher.

Milestones: Legends of The Doc Watson Clan is on Open Records and set for release in 30th April 2013.


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