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Otherworldly, unforgettable music Ground Zero
on December 20, 2006
Dock Boggs is the quintessential haunting and haunted banjo player and singer. When I first heard his music a decade ago I felt a shock of recognition that I've never experienced with ANY other musician, regardless of musical style. Perhaps growing up in the backwoods of Mississippi in the 1960s lent me a familiarity to his musical & personal power that may be missing from more "modern" sensibilities. Every fibre in my body has been shaped and haunted by intensely personal innerworkings created by listening to & singing old-time songs and hymns and I find that my emotions are exactly reflected in Dock's music.
Upon hearing him for the first time, I immediately became a Dock Disciple and have incorporated many of his songs into my own banjo & guitar repetoire. It's a long shot that folks with more modern sensibilites will be as overwhelmed by Dock's vision as I, but I can only hope & pray that there are people out there (particularly the younger folks) that will be as moved by the awesome power of Dock as I have been. Dock represents a wisdom and strength of character that is becoming increasingly rare in the country's population today.
Several years ago, when I sat down on his grave in Norton, Virginia and played several of his songs to him on the banjo, the sun was beaming as bright as it could be; when I finished half an hour later with his devastating song "Calvary", it was pouring rain....which seemed so very fitting. Dock's playing & singing reflect an overwhelming quality of "terrible beauty".
It's difficult for me to put into words exactly what Dock's legacy means to me but, if you're ready & willing to give yourself over to an unparalled example of the true strength of the American character and the power of an absolutely unique, touching and simple-yet-complex life, Dock's music will thrill you and haunt you as no other. His biography reads like a series of parables straight from the Old Testament and every moment of his life, from his birth to his death, can be heard in his music.
ESSENTIAL listening; now more than ever, this CD set should be issued to every American upon birth.