Doc Watson Vanguard Years (4-CD Box Set)
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- by Various Artists ~ Bluegrass: Independent Label Sides 1951-1954 (4-CD) ~ $24.26
- by Doc Watson ~ Southbound ~ $10.78
- by Earl Scruggs ~ Three Pickers (Live) ~ $15
- by Doc Watson ~ Trouble in Mind: Doc Watson Country Blues Collection ~ $14.74
- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: November 21, 1995
- Originally Released: 1995
- Label: Vanguard Records
Dirty Linen - 5-6/96, pp.55-57"...recorded the first 16 years' worth of albums that he made. The very best of these historic recordings are gathered together in this magnificent four-CD boxed set..."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Rambling Hobo
- 2.Train That Carried My Girl From Town
- 3.The Coo Coo
- 4.Reuben's Train
- 5.Hicks' Farewell
- 6.Grandfather's Clock
- 7.Beaumont Rag
- 8.Farewell Blues
- 9.Footprints in the Snow
- 10.Intoxicated Rat
- 11.Talk About Suffering
- 12.Omie Wise
- 13.Country Blues
- 14.Black Mountain Rag
- 15.Doc's Guitar
- 16.Deep River Blues
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 2.Dream of the Miner's Child
- 3.Rising Sun Blues
- 4.Otto Wood the Bandit
- 5.Little Sadie
- 6.Windy and Warm
- 7.Tennessee Stud
- 8.Blue Railroad Train
- 9.Down in the Valley to Pray
- 10.Dill Pickle Rag
- 11.The F.F.V.
- 12.Childhood Play
- 13.Streamline Cannonball
- 14.Old Camp Meeting Time
- 15.I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes
- 16.The Girl in the Blue Velvet Band
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.New River Train
- 2.Rank Stranger
- 3.Corrina Corrina
- 4.What Does the Deep Sea Say
- 5.There's More Pretty Girls Than One
- 6.Way Downtown
- 7.Brown's Ferry Blues
- 8.Spike Driver Blues
- 9.Roll on Buddy
- 10.I Am a Pilgrim
- 11.Wabash Cannonball
- 12.Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
- 13.The Lawson Family Murder
- 14.The Cuckoo
- 15.Alabama Bound
Tracks on Disc 4:
- 1.Bye Bye Bluebells - (previously unreleased)
- 2.Kinfolks in Carolina - (previously unreleased)
- 3.San Antonio Rose - (previously unreleased)
- 4.Blow Your Whistle Freight Train - (previously unreleased)
- 5.Cannonball Rag - (previously unreleased)
- 6.I Am a Pilgrim - (previously unreleased)
- 7.Arrangement Blues - (previously unreleased)
- 8.I Got a Pig at Home in the Pen - (previously unreleased)
- 9.My Rough and Rowdy Ways - (previously unreleased)
- 10.Deep River Blues - (previously unreleased)
- 11.Banks of the Ohio - (previously unreleased)
- 12.A-Roving on a Winter's Night - (previously unreleased)
- 13.Southbound - (previously unreleased)
- 14.Memphis Blues - (previously unreleased)
- 15.Salt Creek / Bill Cheatham - (previously unreleased)
- 16.Brown's Ferry Blues - (previously unreleased)
- 17.Windy and Warm - (previously unreleased)
Personnel includes: Arthel "Doc" Watson (guitar, harmonica); Merle Watson, Merle Travis, Chet Atkins (guitar); Clarence Ashley, Arnold Watson, Gaither Carlton, Clarence White, Don Stover, Clint Howard, Fred Price.
Compilation producer: Mary Katherine Aldin.
Recorded between 1963 and 1971. Includes liner notes by Mary Katherine Aldin.
THE VANGUARD YEARS collects tracks from Doc Watson's tenure at Vanguard Records as well as previously unreleased live performances with his son, Merle Watson, and Merle Travis.
Newcomers to the music of Doc Watson may want to wet their feet with the single-disc overview THE ESSENTIAL DOC WATSON, but THE VANGUARD YEARS, a four-disc box set that documents the singer/guitarist through the 1960s and early '70s, is the definitive Watson collection. Watson's Vanguard recordings, with their emphasis on straightforward simplicity (Watson's singing style is direct and unaffected, and he often performs unaccompanied), epitomize the down-home folk sound. The simplicity can be deceptive, however. Watson is a virtuoso flat-picker, and his skills as an arranger and interpreter, not to mention his flair for imbuing a melody with warmth and charm, are unmatched.
The material here, collected from various studio sessions and his appearances at the Newport Folk Festival, emphasizes ballads, blues, and rags, along with treatments of songs by Roy Acuff and Dock Boggs. But Watson's real specialty is adapting traditional tunes, and his versions of "Omie Wise" and "I Am a Pilgrim" rank among the best committed to tape. Disc Four features 17 previously unreleased live recordings, including six duets with country legend Merle Travis, and 11 duets with Watson's son Merle. At 64 songs, this is a comprehensive, wonderfully assembled collection of this folk icon's best material.
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