What a terrible year for Bluegrass, we lost another original member of the founding generation last night, Doc Watson.

Here’s the intro to the obit from the NYTimes…

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Doc Watson, the blind Grammy-award winning folk musician whose mountain-rooted sound was embraced by generations and whose lightning-fast style of flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world, died Tuesday at a North Carolina hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman and his manager. He was 89.

Watson died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where he was hospitalized recently after falling at his home in Deep Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He underwent abdominal surgery while in the hospital and had been in critical condition for several days.

I had a few brushes with Doc at Merlefest over the years, but every time I’d see him I was so star struck I couldn’t even formulate words except, “good pickin Doc.” I bet he’d never heard that one before!

Fanning the Fire

It seems like the world has seen an explosion of fish vids from the young edgy beer swilling fly fishing documentarians, and we like that because they are fun to watch. But we haven’t seen that in the Bluegrass world. So this morning when I saw the video below via the The Bluegrass Blog, I just had to post it.

A while ago I felt like a “youngster” playing old guy’s music. Not so much any more, just another guy playing bluegrass. So its nice to see another crop of youngsters burning it down and keeping it real.

Check it out looks like a good one – Fanning the Fire.

Brushes with greatness.

Throughout our lives, we all have our little brushes with greatness. Whether its while you’re looking at the ground, not watching where you’re going at the baseball card show and you happen to literally run into Paul O’neill with nothing more to say than “uh, excuse me sir”. Or maybe it was walking the course at Muirfield Village during a practice round of the memorial with Payne Stewart listening to him wax eloquent about  swing mechanics. Or maybe you were driving down the alley behind Newport music hall and Allen Woody happened to be unloading his things from the tour bus and you managed to steel a few minutes of his time to ask him if he’ll be “rocking out” tonight because you can’t wait.

Well as a band, Big Red and the Wagoneers had one of our brushes with greatness when Tyler Williams used to sit in with us at Byrne’s pub. He was just a young pup back then, but you could tell he had the fire for the Bluegrass, and was bound for glory. Now he has moved on to his own brushes with greatness, which I assume will only continue. And actually they are probably less like “brushes with greatness” and more like “actually hanging out, playing and singing a whole lot with greatness”. As for me I’ll see you in jam circle. Thanks for the link T-Bone!