Doc Watson Clan Readies 4 Disc Set of Unreleased Recordings and Photos for April Release

Image634998783713483681 Imagine you could roll back time and hang out    with the incomparable Doc Watson and his family at every stage of the clan’s musical evolution. 

Imagine listening to Doc’s mother sing her work songs, hearing stories about how his son Merle learned to play the guitar and seeing Doc blossom from his rural North Carolina roots into a world-renowned, multiple Grammy winner.

Well, thanks to the devoted labors of Doc Watson’s only daughter, Nancy Watson, along with a little input from Doc—one can have that intimate experience via the new and meticulously comprehensive 4-CD set, Milestones: Legends of the Doc Watson Clan.

In April 2013, Open Records will release a multi-disc collection of 92 never-before-heard recordings from the Watson family archive, compiled and organized by Doc Watson’s daughter Nancy Watson. The collection features rare 1950s recordings of Doc Watson playing electric guitar and original songs by Doc and other members of the family. Also included are songs and stories from the family, recorded by the family themselves, that offer an intimate look into the musical life of this extraordinary family. Collages of hundreds of Watson family photographs dating back over 100 years accompany the collection.

Created, conceived and compiled by Nancy Watson and produced by Roy Andrade, a member of the Bluegrass and Old Time Country Music Studies faculty at East Tennessee State University, the set boasts 94 unreleased songs and stories by Doc and other family members—plus collages of more than 500 Watson family photos.

The collection is not a repackaging of earlier releases. These are home recordings spanning from 1954 – 2007.   It is music and commentary, most of it recorded for personal entertainment, that was previously unavailable outside the Watson family.  

  Listen to a sample of one of Doc’s Original Songs – “Pharaoh” recorded in a studio in Johnson City, TN circa 1954

"Milestones" is the story of a family – a story told in song, narrative and photograph. It was created by Doc Watson's daughter Nancy with a little help from Doc Watson himself. The collection is a chronological storybook, and is the result of more than a decade spent sifting through the family archives for just the right material to present the story. Doc Watson is the common thread in much of music here, but not the sole focus – other members of the family shine just as brightly. This is a collection that was made with scissors and construction paper, string and glue, recently found reel-to-reel tapes that had long been buried, and stacks of family photo albums. The stories and songs are by 26 members of the family, some born more than 100 years apart. Tying together the collection are short narrations by Nancy. Part history lesson and part folk wisdom, the commentary is meant to give context to the story she is telling.

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