on October 28, 2005
I was fortunate to be able to see Doc and Merle live a couple of times before Merle's premature death. This disc is an accurate representation of the live Doc and Merle I saw - excellent musicianship applied to a broad sweep of American folk, blues and fiddle tunes played in Doc's unique way. Doc has a great sense of humor and it always comes through when he plays live, just as it done on this disc. Check out "Life Gits Teejus Don't It" for an example. Merle was an absolutely incredible guitarist but the most important gift he brought to the music was his innate sense of when and how to accompany and when and how to lead. He integrated himself into a song and played his part exceedingly well. I miss him. This disc has a great mix of tunes with enough instrumentals to please the pickers and plenty of story songs for the folkies. The sound quality is warm and clear and best of all, it doesn't get in the way of the music. This is a true 5 star disc in every regard. Classic!
on August 19, 2002
This is another CD version of an LP album put out several years ago, and I am sure glad they picked this one so I can stop trying to put a needle through my old LP. Doc Watson and his Gallagher guitar are simply awesome--the prototype folk guitar, both flat and fingerpicking style, supported superbly by Merle Watson. The audience is knowledgeable and appreciative, and their reactions augment the enjoyable music a lot. This is another album that you should just sit and do nothing but listen to. Close your eyes and imagine you are at the concert.
on July 9, 2006
Doc Watson is well known as one of the best flatpicking guitarists in the genres of Old Time, Bluegrass and Folk. He is possibly the one who is responsible for transfering the guitar from only a rythm instrument into a soloinstrument in these kinds of music, by learning how to do the old fiddletunes on the guitar. And how he does it? He is a virtuoso on his instrument.
On this live recording, first released in 1982 as a dobbel LP, he is joined by his son Merle, and it is possibly one of the most beautiful records he has ever made. Doc sings and plays the guitar, and on some numbers the mouthorgan too. Merle accompanies him on guitar, and gets the chance to kick in a couple of numbers of his own.
There is a nice and warm and relaxed atmosphere in the concert. Doc tells a few jokes and you get the feeling that you are sitting around in his livingroom.
I first bought this record in 1982, and now I have bought it again on CD. It is simply a must in my personal collection. It is this record that woke my interrest for bluegrass, and learning how to flatpick on the guitar. And I am greatfull, though I'll never reach Doc's level. In fact very few people do.
Should I compare his playing to any younger generation flatpickers, the first one I can think of is Tony Rice.
And finaly, should you be interested in seeing Doc in action I can strongly recomend the DVD The Three Pickers, a concert in which he plays with Earl Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs, and Allison Krauss appears as a guest. That is very very beautyfull.
on July 31, 2003
A message to the American people: Americans, in case you don't know: DOC is not only one of the world's best guitarists, but also the best embassador that the US has ever had. This 1971 live recording (24 tracks, over 70 minutes, good sound quality) offers a generous helping of his art. Together with his late son Merle, Doc presents a collection of impeccably played folk songs. From 'Brown's Ferry Blues' to 'Don't let your deal go down', the singing and the picking are superb, so are Doc's comments and the audience's reactions. His are a voice and a PERSONALITY that you cannot help but love, someone you like listening to in your living-room for the sheer warmth his music exudes. And, what's more, his music integrates so many different voices, stories, influences, experiences that in my book he's the true Voice of America. Of course, there are numerous other fantastic recordings by Doc Watson -some dificult to come by here in Europe. Each record produced in his long career -and I own quite as lot, not a single one disappointing- is definitely worth checking out.
on November 2, 1998
From the opening "Brown's Ferry Blues" through "Deep River Blues", and "Windy and Warm", this is the best guitar album in the history of American Folk Music. I heartily suggest it be in the collection of every fan of American Folk music, REAL country music, acoustic guitar, or Southern humor.
on December 27, 1999
This is the perfect trail mix for those long road trips - snappy bluegrass and oldtime folk melodies, the kinds of songs your grandmother or uncle played around the campfire back before CDs and discmans. I've been playing a scratchy twice dubbed cassette of this for years of road trips and I have yet to ride with anyone who didn't eventually start grinning and singing along.
on September 14, 2003
A very good introduction to the music of Doc Watson. This album contains samples of his blues, ballads, and old mountain songs. Of his albums that I currently have, moreover, this one reminds me most of the time I saw him in concert (early '90s) and the variety of songs he played then. I would highly recommend this as a first purchase of Doc's music.
on March 5, 2016
One of Doc & Merle's best recordings, in my view. Great sound, great tune selection & their exquisite playing. In my view, an essential recording for fans of Doc Watson. I've long had the LP but decided to double down & get the CD so I can play it without worry.
on December 16, 2012
I have been a fan of Doc Watson since I first saw him perform while I was in college. His unique guitar work and singing and his humble approach make him a treasure. His blue grass/ mountain music may not appeal to all but if you like that ind of music you will love Doc Watson
on April 21, 2014
the late great Doc Watson was the front-runner when it came to taking old-time fiddle tunes and transcribing them to steel-string guitar. this compilation of live recordings is a classic example of his wizardry, he was a master of the six-string guitar, as well as self-accompaniment on the harmonica, and along with his also late great son Merle, for whom the Merlefest bluegrass festival which is held annually gets it's name, puts on a display here in these 24 tracks. it is Americana roots music at it's finest, heartfelt and warm, almost to the point of masking the technical prowess that they show. his rich vocals add an even further sense of authenticity to the mixture. he is the fore-runner of other greats who would follow in his footsteps, most notably Clarence White and other fantastic flat-pickers like Tony Rice, Dan Crary, Norman Blake and the slew of others who got turned on to bluegrass via Doc's guitar. you can hear Doc's other influences, such as rock-a-billy and especially the blues, in any number of the tunes. i can not recommend this two disc set highly enough, a true desert island recording for me. joe jacovino 4.21.14