Raised in the hills of North Carolina, Arthel "Doc" Watson learned to play guitar a few years after a childhood illness left him blind. During his teens Doc perfected an extraordinary flat-top picking style while performing on the streets for tips. He became enamored of rockabilly in the 1950s, playing an electric guitar in dance bands before hooking up with elderly banjoist Clarence Tom Ashley. The duo's old-timey hillbilly music caught on nationally during the folk revival of the early 1960s. Watson's intricate, precise guitar picking and dulcet vocal sound made him a star on the festival and coffeehouse circuit. He is equally at home on numbers as varied as the uptempo "Black Mountain Rag," the bluesy "Never No More Blues" and the gospel-tinged "Daniel Prayed." Doc continues to perform regularly and to spearhead one of the South's most successful bluegrass festival, MerleFest, named for his late son and performance partner, who died in a tragic tractor accident in 1985.
Courtesy of palmpictures.com
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