Reporting Ian Bush
By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - After his death on Tuesday at age 89, Doc Watson is being remembered as a humble but pioneering guitar player who changed the landscape of folk music. And the Philadelphia audience was good to him.
Blinded as a toddler, Doc Watson couldn’t see the strings — but could flatpick like no other:
“Quick notes that were so clean and so clear. And he would bend notes in a certain way to give them more of a soulful or bluesy sound.”
Philly Folk Festival founder Gene Shay says so awesome was Watson’s technique that crowds would form close to the stage to stare at his hands.
And Doc could sing…
“He was a great storyteller. Singing a ballad is quite a talent, to make the storyline understandable.”
Despite early fears of touring, he often played the folk festival here. Shay already is hearing from artists who want to pay tribute this time around.
“He just did it right with such taste and perfection.”