Doc Watson and Merle Watson Concert – Milk Cow Blues

My recommendation for today – a concert with Doc and Merle Watson recorded in 1967.

The complete concert is available at

Arthel Lane „Doc“ Watson – vocals, guitar, harmonica
Merle Watson – guitar

This sublime performance was recorded at Los Angeles‘ historic Ash Grove, one of the great bastions of folk music on the West Coast. The club, named after a Welsh folk song, opened its doors in 1958, and for the next 15 years many of the greats of folk, bluegrass, and rock ’n‘ roll graced the stage. On the 6th of May in 1967, the iconoclastic Doc Watson, aged 44, performed an intimate, lively set, flanked by the virtuosic talent of his 18-year-old son, Merle.

The recording captures the North Carolina native at his jovial, upbeat best. While many of the numbers feature the signature whiskey-soaked woebegone that connects so many to Watson, his infectious energy, undeniable joy, and jocular banter keeps the audience engaged. Watson’s voice is full and powerful, and it perfectly assimilates with the duo’s complex, melodic picking. The performance is a virtual clinic on nuance and technical proficiency, as can only be exhibited by true masters of folk and bluegrass picking.

The recording is crisp and technically flawless. The crowd is attentive and captivated, without interfering in the group’s performance.

One of the songs is the Milk Cow Blues – Listen to another recording of this great song:

Doc Watson / Milk Cow Blues

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