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Doc Watson, RIP

Bluegrass guitar virtuoso Doc Watson died Tuesday at the age of 89. I feel very fortunate to have seen him in concert twice. The first time was at a local venue called The Neighborhood Theater sometime during the 90's, and the second was at Merlefest in 2010.

The Neighborhood Theater concert was memorable, partly because any Doc Watson concert is memorable, but also because of what happened shortly before it began. I needed to use the restroom. The Neighborhood Theater has a strange layout, and the restroom is upstairs. It is also across from the dressing room.

The door to the dressing room was open, and Doc was in their rehearsing. Maybe "rehearsing" is the wrong word. His playing and singing sounded flawless. I completely forgot about the biological imperative that had send me upstairs, and just stood there enjoying my free sneak preview. After a few minutes, somebody saw me and shut the door.

Like all accidental voyeurs, I should have felt ashamed, but mostly I just felt lucky.

Soon after that show I decided I had to add Doc Watson to my CD collection. I went down to Media Play and bought Docabilly, his latest CD at the time. It's a collection of country and rock covers, and probably his least representative album. But it was a very good album, and demonstrated nicely his playing and singing talent.

His appearance at Merlefest 2010 was also special. I didn't get to watch him perform in his dressing room, but I did get to see him receive his honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music. Here's some video:

And here's another video of him performing at the same Merlefest:

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