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Doc & Merle Watson

Sittin' Here Pickin' the Blues – 2004 (Rounder)

Reviewed by David McPherson

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CDs by Doc & Merle Watson

This is an expanded edition of Doc & Merle Watson's seminal release "Pickin' the Blues" with eight additional tracks from their Flying Fish Records catalogue included. The songs here were 24-bit digitally remastered from their original analogue sources.

In an essay that accompanied the original notes to "Pickin' the Blues," Doc Watson summed up his approach to music better than any critic can: "If a song has something to say, whether it's an old-timey thing or whether it's jazz, I'm liable to latch on to the melody if it fits my notion."

This 20-song collection highlights the Watson's penchant for picking the right mix of songs from a variety of genres - blues, jazz and bluegrass - and then reinterpreting these classics with their distinct pickin' perfection. The blues and country mix with ease when the Watson's create, making a unique sounding "blue-country" music. Doc's ferocious flat-picking and baritone vocals combines with Merle's slick slide-guitar to create a down-home country concoction sure to get the feet stompin'.

Highlights include the old time standard "Stormy Weather" and "Did You Hear John Hurt," a great tribute to one of Doc's major influences.