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June 19, 2024

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Doc and Richard Watson
Third Generation Blues (Sugar Hill Records)

By: Alex Steininger

On his first album with his grandson, Richard Watson, Doc Watson comes alive. Fusing country, blues, and folk, Doc and Richard Watson stir the waters with various sounds, but always bring it back home into one spicy piece of music that will put a twinkle in your eyes and a smile on your face.

As the title suggests, the album opens with some roots-blues to get the blood pumping. "Honey Please Don't Go" shakes with an acoustic blues flavor that will hit you straight in the heart and instantly make you a fan. Doc's deep, experience-filled voice is as pure as they come, as he moves from word to word with equal importance. Nothing is unimportant; it all has a place in the song, and they make it work.

Of course, with so much creative juices flowing through the two of them, it's hard for them to stay on one musical flavor. So, "Gypsy Davey" finds them treading folk waters. Easy-going and kind hearted, Doc tells the story through words, while the acoustic guitars tell the story music. Both are equally effective, and work together to make the story come alive. With so much heart and soul put into every note, and every word, you can't help but feel like Doc is actually telling you this story in person, using the acoustic guitar as a prop to make the story even more potent.

Then there is the old country feel of "Moody River," a gentle song that once again feels like Doc is right there telling you his story, under the hot sun with some whiskey and lemonade at your disposal. The back woods, down home nature of the song makes it feel like a treasure, while Doc's voice furthers this feeling even more.

A grandfather and grandson combo, The Watson's music works together intricately -- much like a family. All the aspects need to be there, or the song may fall apart. As natural as child birth, the songs flow so smoothly out of their mouths, by the end of the disc you feel as if they've just let you in on their life stories (whether this is the case or not, I don't know). I'll give it a B+.

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