Doc Watson

It took a blind North Carolina mountain man to show country and bluegrass musicians what now seems obvious: the guitar isn't merely a backup instrument. Doc Watson, who was 89 when he died on May 29, had been blind almost from birth, but his physical limitations only enhanced his ability to learn Appalachian folk tunes by ear. After teaching himself how to flat-pick, he introduced the idea of swift guitar soloing to musical genres that often kept guitars in the shadows. By the 1960s, Watson became well known via folk festivals and his now classic self-titled solo album. He never had...

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