NC flat picking guitar legend Doc Watson critical after fall, get well soon Doc!

Just got this link from a friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Doc and his family. Get well soon, there’s more picking to do.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Grammy-winning folk musician Doc Watson is in critical condition at a North Carolina hospital after falling at his home earlier this week.

His daughter Nancy tells The Associated Press that the 89-year-old fell at his home in Deep Gap on Monday. She says he didn’t break any bones, but he is “real sick.”

He was in critical condition at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

The blind singer and guitarist has won several Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award. He also received the National Medal of the Arts.

He’s known as a master of the flatpicking style of guitar playing and for starting Merlefest, an annual gathering of musicians named after his son, who died in a tractor accident in 1985.

Freaky Fiddle Friday: Tony Rive – My Favorite Things, a you tube clip with good audio, who knew?

So today for Freaky Fiddle Friday I found a youtube video that actually has good audio… I didn’t even know there was such thing?

This is an amazing display of what a flat top guitar can do, it’s like a fiddle, a piano and a drum had a beautiful love child. Wyatt’s subtle textural rhythm and Tony’s screaming leads stand in stark contrast to each other, and yet they both are playing the same instrument, in fact the same model, how bout that.

The Rice brother’s here put on a display unlike any other in the pickin world. I could listen to this all day, let alone watch it! Praise BE!

It’s some hot pickin’ in the middle of January.

Tony Rice Workshop in Roanoke VA


Tony Rice performing at our beloved Merlefest.


Just announced today, the Ultimate Guitar Strummit, in Roanoke Virginia featuring workshops by Tony and Wyatt Rice as well as Josh Williams, and John Miller. Sounds like a good time. I do think saying Tony has never participated in a workshop environment this intense is a bit of a stretch, but whatever it takes I suppose. He has done workshops like this at Jorma’s Fur Peace Ranch right down the road from Fiddle and Creel World Headquarters. But you know, everybody’s gotta be the biggest and the best or first and the mostest, right? Big Mon wouldn’t have it any other way, competition brings out the best in us. Anyway it looks like a good event.

Check the map of trout streams around Roanoke below. Looks promising. I say leave Tuesday morning, fish Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday, hit guitar the Strummit on Thursday and Friday, and get home on Sunday. Who is in? Thats a heck of a way to beat the February blues right?

And for good mesure here is s clip of Bill Monroe playing an old time fiddle Tune entitled Roanoke! Bobby Hicks and Charlie Cline on Fiddle, priceless.

Tony Rice Live – Early Morning Rain

This is some classic footage of the Rice Unit playing an excellent Fall-like tune. This friday is the Pheasant opener here in Ohio, and it looks like they are calling for rain and snow. I still don’t know if I can get that day off yet, but I’m working on it. If not then Saturday will have to do.

In a testament to how the fashion world just recycles the same things over and over again, the shirt Tony is wearing would be quite fashionable right now. In fact there is probably some over-priced boutique in Manhattan selling that exact shirt right now for like $300. The more things change the more they stay the same. Maybe he was just WAY ahead of time, or perhaps timeless, or maybe both.

Who cares… how they heck can he play those guitar licks so’ flawlessly is what I want to want to know. Tone, fluidity, grace, punch, execution, crisp enunciation, its all there. Like a perfectly placed upstream presentation of a #14 Adams to a rhythmically rising rainbow, perfection.

And it looks like Vassar on fiddle, RIP – we miss him.

Larry Keel, Flat picking Sensation and Master Fisherman?

Love em or hate him Larry Keel is a firebrand of flat picking. Ever the agitator among the traditional Bluegrass crowd, I haven’t really kept up with him and his band. The Bluegrass Blog had a nice interview with him posted today. And I found out he enjoys fishing too, he even calls himself a “Master Fisherman.”

I’m not sure I’d ever trust anybody that call themselves a master fisherman, thats a title that only comes from others. Maybe someone else gave it to him? Who knows, but plastering it on your homepage as big as he did says a little something strange. But he doesn’t take himself too seriously so I’m sure its all in good fun. Check out the cool illustration on his header, thats freakin cool.

And he can play the strings off of a guitar, there is no doubt about that.

Today we are awarding Larry Keel a star on the Fiddle and Creel walk of fame for his devotion to all things fishy and bluegrassy, well done sir!

Here is the fishiest quote from the article…

I couldn’t resist asking for a fishing update as well, “I have done as much of that as I’ve wanted to,” said Larry. “I did some out in Idaho, fly fishing. I fish every kind of way I can, I do a lot of bass fishing. I did some fishing in the Outer Banks this summer, some saltwater fishing  I caught a lot of bass in Georgia. Every chance I get, I go!”