Doc Watson, folk music legend, dies at 89 – USATODAY.com

Doc Watson, folk music legend, dies at 89 – USATODAY.com.

When I came across the news that Doc Watson died yesterday I instantly recalled the first time I became aware of him. I was a teenager that thought the blues world revolved around Stevie Ray Vaughan. A guitar teacher I was taking lessons from at the time gave me a handwritten piece of music titled “Deep River Blues” by Doc Watson and told me to learn it for next weeks lesson. After spending an entire week practicing this tune I came to my next lesson completely baffled. There was nothing about this tune that remotely resembled the blues I knew. Actually, I was butchering it so badly it didn’t resemble music. My teacher picked up his acoustic and ran through it a couple of times and I was blown away. I had never seen or heard a guitar played that way before and instantly became a fan of this acoustic fingerstyle guitar technique. I soon had several of Doc Watson’s albums as well as albums by other similar guitarist such as Merle Travis, Rev. Gary Davis and later on Tommy Emmanuel. He was a big influence for me and I regret not taking the time to see him live. R.I.P. Doc.