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!

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.

Thile and Daves

Check out this great video of Chris Thile with Michael Daves playing My Little Girl In Tennessee. It has hints of New-Yorker-ironic-Hillbilly-chic which gets on my nerves a bit. At the same time, you can’t deny that the harmonies are pretty solid and bring back the Monroe Brother’s vibe pretty well and the instrumental pyrotechnics speak for themselves.

Michael Daves seems to have his own style of playing, which is unique in the guitar world, not that we are knocking “the style” but you know, its nice to see someone break out of “the bluegrass guitar mold” and do their own thing.

The videography is pretty cool, nice black and white look, good contrast, fairly cinematic, good sound quality. Someone obviously put some thought into it, good stuff.

Makes me wish I was going to Merlefest this weekend, but alas!

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Chris Thile live. I think we were waiting for Tony and Peter to go on at the Creekside stage and we wanted to be front and center. The show before them was billed as Joh Doyle and John Hermann. I’d never seen John Doyle, but like most things at Merlefest, I think I was more blown away by his set than the Tony and Peter show we were waiting for. Anyway in the middle of the John Doyle and John Hermann set, Thile jumps up there, tears the roof off the place and the crowd goes nuts. I’d heard Nickle Creek at that point but I had no idea what that guy could do… blah blah blah. It’s good to see he is still doing the good stuff and isn’t too totally lost, off wondering in the weeds, chasing down the dream of breaking boundaries and forging new territory by composing epic hillbilly chamber music nobody will appreciate. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that)