Doc Watson Ballads From Deep Gap
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- Released: November 26, 1991
- Label: Vanguard Records
- 1.Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
- 2.My Rough and Rowdy Ways
- 3.The Wreck of Old Number 9
- 4.Gambler's Yodel
- 5.The Cuckoo
- 6.Stack O'Lee
- 7.Willie Moore
- 8.Travelin' Man
- 9.The Tragic Romance
- 10.Texas Gales (Instrumental)
- 11.The Lawson Family Murder
- 12.Alabama Bound
Personnel: Doc Watson (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica); Merle Watson (guitar, banjo); Eric Weissberg (bass).
Recorded in 1967. Includes original release liner notes by Bill Vernon.
The largely overlooked Ballads From Deep Gap features a great song list and some of Doc & Merle Watson's best early playing. This is a jaunty, exciting record, highlighted by "The Cuckoo," Doc's take on a version made famous by neighbor Clarence Ashley. There's nothing routine about anything here, though: "Stack-O-Lee" (featuring Merle on lead guitar), "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms," and "Travelin' Man" are imbued with warm, rolling energy that is as invigorating as anything the pair recorded. In the end, Ballads, ironically, plays like a dance -- it's fast, fun, and slightly reckless compared to some of Doc Watson's other albums of the time. That atmosphere, though, makes it an inspired effort. ~ Jim Smith
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