Friday, September 9, 2011

This Week in Sugar Hill History - Doc Watson at Gerdes Folk City (2001)

On September 11, 2001, Sugar Hill Records released the classic "Doc Watson at Gerdes Folk City" - a definitive collection of historic live Doc Watson recordings from 1962-1963.

This album documents Doc Watson's first solo public appearance; it finds him in front of an appreciative West Village crowd at the height of the early-'60s folk music craze, playing a borrowed acoustic guitar (at the time the only guitar he owned was the electric Les Paul with which he had been making a living as a member of a North Carolina rockabilly band) and performing a varied set of tunes that range from traditional ballads like "Little Sadie" and "The Roving Gambler" to traditional blues and Merle Travis-style guitar showcases. He's joined at various times by local folk luminaries John Herald, Ralph Rinzler, and Bob Yellin, but what is consistently striking is his mastery of the stage and the warmth and gentle virtuosity of his playing -- attributes that would later come to define his art, but which are remarkable in an artist performing solo for the first time. ~Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

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