Acoustic Disc ACD-CD-50055
A few minutes into “Blue Grass Stomp,” the third cut on disc one (of two discs) of this marvelous, powerful, live recording of Doc Watson and David Grisman from October 1997, Doc says to David (after a Monroe-esque mandolin break), “I think Bill would like that David.” Of course, Doc was referring to Bill Monroe who had passed away the year before.
It’s hard to believe we’re over 21 years from the night Doc and Dawg had a gig at the famous (now defunct) Acoustic Stage in Hickory, N.C. They had just released a CD called Doc & Dawgon Grisman’s Acoustic Disc record label. Now, Acoustic Disc has released the two sets of live music from that night. Beautifully recorded by Larry Cumings, it’s a reminder of the warmth and intimacy of Doc’s voice and of David’s always-in-the-pocket and appropriate mandolin playing.
There are some classic cuts here—“Shady Grove,” “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride,” “Froggy Went A Courtin’”—among the 35 songs and tunes. It’s an essential companion CD to the first Doc & Dawgrecording. The audience is appreciative, but not intrusive, and there’s an air of excitement about the performances, something only a live recording can convey.
In addition to Doc and Dawg, Jack Lawrence (Doc’s long-time duo partner) also plays and sings on a few cuts here, and there’s a short set by Doc and his grandson Richard Watson, an especially poignant part of the evening since both are now gone. Recommended listening for anyone who might enjoy an evening of these talented friends making joyful music. (Acoustic Disc, P.O. Box 4143, San Rafael, CA 94913, www.acousticdisc.com.)CVS