I recently spent a few minutes discussing Watson with Kent Gustavson, author of “Blind But Now I See: The Biography of Music Legend Doc Watson” (Here it is at Amazon.) Check out the video of our conversation on the left. Among the many interesting things that Kent shared was that Watson could play many different types of music at a very high level. And he should know: Gustavson has a doctorate in classical composition and has released several albums.
Rolling Stone’s David Fricke did a nice job of highlighting two important elements of what made Watson special in this remembrance. It was posted when Watson died:
But Watson was a pioneering instrumentalist – liberating the guitar from its supporting rhythmic role in country rags and mountain balladry with a jazzman’s drive, improvising on complex fiddle and banjo motifs like a Blue Ridge Django Reinhardt – who always took the Main Point stage like a neighbor from the next valley over, delighted to be passing through. He conversed with the crowd in a gently crusted drawl and sang fireside standards such as “Deep River Blues” and “Tennessee Stud” with renewing vigor – a dynamic reminder of a rough dynamic America that was, at the time, not that distant.
Notice that two important and very distinct elements are side by side in the paragraph. One is that Watson was a major innovator. The other is that he was a gifted performer. The two are not synonymous, but do often go together. The commentators agree that the strength of Watson’s relationship with the audience was that he was able to project in a very real way who he was. The idea that emerges is that he was a great showman because he was not a showman.
Kent Gustavson is co-founder of Thought Leadership Path. He says that the organization works with experts and entrepreneurs on their authority platforms in order to help them up-level in life and business.
Below the Amazon links is “Deep River Blues.” Sad commentaries about our modern world come in surprising ways. To me, it’s that 155 people gave this a thumbs-down.[box title=”Get Great Music, Support The Daily Music Break” style=”soft” box_color=”#fcfee4″ title_color=”#030728″ radius=”10″]If you shop for music or anything else at Amazon, please consider going their directly from one of the many Amazon links at this site. Doing so supports TDMB because we get a small percentage on anything you buy. The price you pay remains the same. Please consider it. It would be greatly appreciated.