Something Truly American

by | 3 Feb, 2011

In a recent Tiny Desk Concert on NPR, singer Abigail Washburn talked about how Doc Watson’s music, specifically his LP of ‘Shady Grove,’ inspired her to pick up her banjo and tour the East Coast.  She called his music, “Something truly American,” and is something she can be “proud of.”

Doc Watson’s biography Blind But Now I See, written by Dr. Kent Gustavson, provides a comprehensive and critical look at Doc’s life and career.  Dr. Gustavson reveals more about how Washburn, as well as other musicians, were influence by Doc and his legendary bluegrass sound.

This first-ever biography of the folk and bluegrass icon has become an Amazon Bestseller, reaching #1 in the “Country & Folk” category. Over a period of six years, Dr. Gustavson collected dozens of never-before-seen photographs, as well as artistic renderings of Doc Watson’s childhood and career.

The book reveals never-before-released details about Doc Watson’s life, including:

  • The inside story of Doc Watson’s discovery and rise to greatness, from sideman to superstar and from local stages to Carnegie Hall, researched from the private notes of his late discoverer Ralph Rinzler.
  • A full history of Doc’s family, his time at the Raleigh School for the Blind, his family’s deep roots in North Carolina, and his treasured first string instrument: a banjo crafted by his father from the hide of his granny’s old cat.
  • The true story of how Doc’s son, slide guitarist Eddy Merle Watson: his rise to the top, his tragic tractor accident, and his funeral, where friends gathered around his grave to sing “Midnight Rider.”

Blind But Now I See is filled to the brim with new and compelling interviews from Abigail Washburn, Alan O’Bryant, Alice Gerrard, Annie Bird, B. Townes, Bela Fleck, Ben Harper, Beppe Gambetta, Clint Howard, Darol Anger, David Grisman, David Moultrup, and 70 other notable musicians and experts who each describe Doc Watson’s life and their own personal experience with the famous musician.