BLIND BUT NOW I SEE: THE BIOGRAPHY OF MUSIC LEGEND DOC WATSON
BY KENT GUSTAVSON
Blooming Twigs Books 9781933918433. 333 pp., $14.95.
(Blooming Twigs Books, P.O. Box 4668 #66675, New York, NY 10163, www.docwatsonbook.com.)
Hard to believe it’s been fifty years since Ralph Rinzler first introduced guitarist Doc Watson to the larger world. It’s a fitting anniversary, then, for the first book length biography on Doc to appear. It was long overdue, and while a more complete work might still be waiting to be written, this is a valuable, anecdotal work that anyone interested in Doc’s music and life will enjoy reading.
Kent Gustavson, a musician, author and adjunct professor at Stony Brook University in New York, has written a loving and well researched account of Doc’s life and music with quotes and stories from people such as Jerry Douglas, Marty Stuart, Norman Blake, Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, Tony Trischka, Sam Bush, Tom Paxton, Alice Gerrard and many more.
Though this is an unauthorized biography, the best quotes are those from Doc himself, especially as it relates to his son Merle Watson’s life and Doc’s deep religious faith. Some great photographs and scanned original documents are included, although the simplistic drawings don’t add much to the text.
The author does a good job of placing the events of Doc’s life in the context of the times, especially his relationship with Ralph Rinzler in the 1960s. Well worth buying and an informative, enjoyable read. CVS