Doc and Dawg at LBC
- By Derek Dahlen
- Old-time mountain music at it's best was performed by Arthel "Doc"
Watson and David "Dawg" Grisman, along with Jack Lawerence, at
the Luther Burbank Center on the Vernal Equinox (March 21st). The hillbilly
music from the Appalachian Mountains, better known as bluegrass, has long
been a symbol of rural America, and it was from these fiddle and banjo
tunes that country music developed.
- Doc Watson, a blind guitarist and singer, was "discovered"
by contemporary bluegrass musicians in his hometown of Deep Gap, North
Carolina in the late 1950's. The quality and breadth of Watson's repertoire
and his ability as a banjoist and harmonica player enormously impressed
bluegrass enthusiasts, but his outstanding feature was his guitar style.
Using a flat-pick (or plectrum) he could play the most complicated fiddle
tunes with complete accuracy and at an amazing pace. Doc has played with
such greats as the mandolinist extraordinare Bill Monroe, the father of
bluegrass. But, no mandolinist compares to the internationally renowned
styles of David Grisman.
- "Dawg" Grisman was introduced to Watson's music in 1961 and
met the legendary musician the following year. Since, Grisman and Watson
have never missed the opportunity to pick together. At their concert at
the LBC, Doc and Dawg put on a show of cosmic magnitude. They are so comfortable
playing together that hearing them play feels as though you're sitting
in their living room enjoying an evening with the two musicians. The music
that these two make together warms the soul and livens the feet.
- The drive and enthusiasm that Doc and Dawg put into their music is
an enlightening experience to witness. Doc will sing the lyrics and Dawg
will play the lyrics back to Doc with his mandolin. This call and response
style can be very fun and is often played fast enough to keep the whole
audience in a state of amazement. Bluegrass music is about the best toe-tappin',
knee-slappin', get-out-on-the-floor and start dancin' genres of music that
- Bluegrass is real country. All the instruments are acoustic and all
of the voices are genuine. When you listen to bluegrass you hear the roots
of backwoods rural music. This is the original "American" music.
Within the lyrics of bluegrass music are stories that have been passed
down for generations. As Ricky Scruggs says, "Country Rocks, but Bluegrass
Return to Index
for this issue | Eagle Home
own comments about the College and the EAGLE
Webmeister: Mike Oliveria
Email: Mendocino College
Last Update: 5/3/98