View Full Version : Favorite Doc Watson albums

Kevin Winn
Mar-25-2019, 2:34am
Been listening to 'Riding The Midnight Train' a lot. Loving Sam Bush's playing on there, but also really enjoying the songs and Doc's voice. I want to get some more of Doc's albums, but there's a ton of them.

What are your favorites?

Mar-25-2019, 6:23am
All of them I guess, I was of course introduced by Folkways "The Essential Doc Watson" and his appearances on The Circle Album "have to compliment that bass player back there..." - but I am very partial to "Down South" with Merle and Sam (on a couple of tracks ) "Sliding Delta", "Bright Sunny South", "Solid Gone", There was a live album with T Micheal Coleman and the Frosty Morn band, can't think of the name if it "Doc and the boys" maybe, they did "Southern Lady" and "Tennessee Stud" and "Little Maggie". "Pickin the Blues" that's why I'm cryin, can't keep from cryin Mississippi Heavy water blues with Merle, Sam is on one or two there as well. Red Rockin Chair with the T. Micheal Coleman group was another one we played the grooves off, I remember we had very worn vinyl - "Square Deal in Nashville" where Doc is holding up a deck of cards, pretty sure that was intentional, and of course Doc driving the Cadillac on the cover of "Doc-a-Billy". I saw him play a few times with Jack Lawrence and with Tony and Norman, always a little closer to the sunny side of the mountain when you hear Doc singing and playing.

David Lewis
Mar-25-2019, 7:10am
Chalk the live album with Bill Monroe. It’s a nice collection. And well played.

Denny Gies
Mar-25-2019, 9:14am
Doc and Dawg.

William Smith
Mar-25-2019, 10:49am
I was going to say Doc and Dawg, On the last track be sure to let it play as there is a hidden tune quite a few seconds after the last tune! David on his Acoustic Disc label released a live 2 cd set of Him and Doc, also the great Jack Lawrence, maybe called live at Watsonville? There may be others on his label? YouTube is a treasure trove of different Doc stuff!

Kevin Winn
Mar-25-2019, 11:50am
Thanks, guys!

Pete Martin
Mar-25-2019, 5:52pm

Gary Leonard
Mar-25-2019, 6:00pm
The first self titled album. Doc Watson. Simply the best, this recording has everything going for it, it is Doc at his purest.

Mar-25-2019, 6:29pm
Just get them all!

Paul Kotapish
Mar-25-2019, 7:03pm
I really like Doc Watson - On Stage (https://www.amazon.com/Stage-Doc-Watson/dp/B000000EB9). Learned a bunch from that one.

And I think that The Watson Family (https://www.amazon.com/Watson-Family-DOC-WATSON/dp/B000001DGI/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=doc+watson+family&qid=1553558524&s=music&sr=1-1) is pretty essential listening, too.

Mark Gunter
Mar-25-2019, 8:28pm
Thereís no bad one; you canít go wrong. Iíve got about half of his catalog! Most recent acquisition is the Bearís Sonic Journals set. Great audio on a full week of live performances by Doc & Merle.

ĒDoc and Merle Watson: Never The Same Way OnceĒ

Mar-25-2019, 11:22pm
Ditto "On Stage" - one of my favs. Doc and Dawg too.

Doc is my all-time musical hero. I was lucky enough to see him in concert in 2001. I will always treasure that ticket stub.

Mar-26-2019, 1:57pm
For me it is a tie between the untitled first Doc Watson album and Southbound. But I have never heard a bad one.

Mar-27-2019, 6:57am
Often overlooked is "Doc and Merle Watson's Guitar Album" from 1983. Doc, Merle, Michael T are joined by Mark O'Connor on fiddle and mandolin.

Mar-27-2019, 9:01am
I just downloaded Old Timey Concert with Doc Watson, Clint Howard and Fred Prince. As the title suggest, they are playing some old time favorites.

Drew Egerton
Mar-28-2019, 7:27am
I really like the "Legacy" record with David Holt. There is a lot of story telling and interesting bits here and there about Doc's early years. Lots of good tunes as well.

"Doc and Dawg" of course. "Southbound" has lots of great tunes.

Mar-28-2019, 7:03pm
This isn't about a particular album, but a love for Doc Watson. Just the other day, this song came on the radio in the car and I sat in the car until it was done


edited to add that his version of Tennesse Stud (thems good hosses) is my fav!

Martin Jonas
Mar-29-2019, 10:17am
While I agree that for pure essence of Doc, the early albums are essential, in particular the self-titled first Vanguard album and Southbound, I am also partial to the somewhat obscure "Portrait", a 1987 album on Sugar Hill with a fuller sound compared to his usual solo acoustic guitar style, and with a stellar backing band: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Mark O'Connor, Mike Compton and (for the first time) Jack Lawrence. The main reason is that this was the first Doc Watson album I bought, picked up more or less at random from a used record bin, but it also has wonderful versions of two Jimmie Rodgers songs (Blue-Eyed Jane and Nobody Knows But Me) as well as his definitive versions of Country Blues, Storms on the Ocean and I'm Worried Now. There's a nice review here (https://bluegrasstoday.com/album-of-the-week-23-doc-watsons-portrait/).


Mar-30-2019, 11:08am
If you belong to a music service such as Amazon music unlimited, you can try out a great many albums for free. If you really like them, I would advise to purchase them. The music that’s included in Amazon unlimited varies, so what is free today may not be available at all tomorrow.

I’ve just put the porrait album in “my music”

ralph johansson
Mar-31-2019, 9:24am
Watson+Ritchie and Good Deal

Mark Gunter
Mar-31-2019, 11:12am
I'm a sucker for tragic ballads: Murder ballads, hangin' tunes, etc. One of my favorites is to hear Doc do Mattie Groves.


Mar-31-2019, 8:13pm
From a pure pickin' standpoint, I always liked the instrumental trio album Doc did with Lester & Earl. Good one to study and learn from if you're a guitarist trying to learn his style.

Drew Egerton
Apr-01-2019, 7:55am
Gina's post reminded me of another great one, The Three Pickers! Doc, Earl and Ricky Skaggs. Lots of guests as well. Available in CD or DVD of the concert. Very cool show!