This Saturday: a memorial tribute to Doc Watson. | KALW

This Saturday: a memorial tribute to Doc Watson.

May 29, 2012

Saturday (6/2) from 6:30 - 8:00 pm, "Bluegrass Signal" presents a memorial tribute to Doc Watson, who once said, "I'm not a legend. I'm just someone who enjoyed the music and who enjoyed playing music." But of course, he is a legend, popularizing flatpicked fiddle tunes and making the world safe for acoustic lead guitar players; providing a vast array of songs and tunes encompassing traditional old time country, blues, jazz, and more; delighting audience as a soulful singer and engaging performer as well as hot picker; and embodying a down-home personality that always seemed to be focused on you. Doc also won eight Grammies, one of which is a Lifetime Achievement Award, and has influenced virtually every acoustic guitarist of the past 50 years.

This overview of his music features live and studio recordings from the 1960s and early '70s, plus selections from his 2002 interview with David Holt and a few forays into bluegrass. There's plenty of solo Doc, but we also hear him in the company of his son Merle, other family members, Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Clarence White, Ricky Skaggs & Earl Scruggs, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the Nashville Bluegrass Band. Sam Bush, who has frequently played with Doc, says that he's been influenced by his "incredible timing and taste. He seems to always know what notes to play. They're always the perfect notes." And, Bush adds, "I don't think anyone personifies what we call Americana more than Doc Watson."