Doc & Merle Watson – Home Sweet Home


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HOME SWEET HOME was nominated for a 1999 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.

"Reuben's Train" was nominated for a 1999 Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance.

A father/son team treatment of traditional roots bluegrass (as the liner notes have it, young Merle made this recording five months after he received and learned to play his first banjo), these source tracks were originally recorded in 1967. Exhumed after over thirty years and remixed with additional musicians (bass, fiddle, mandolin and harmony vocals), HOME SWEET HOME sounds crisp, flawless and unified-- as though it were recorded by a group that had been playing together for years.

The duo gives folk standards like "John Henry," "Worried Blues," and "Little Maggie" spirited, true-blue workouts with plenty of fine picking-- particularly from neophyte Merle, who kicks up heels in his own instrumental composition "Russian Grass." The contemporary musicians turn in fine performances as well, and the engineers of this project have done an outstanding job honoring the pure, homespun aesthetic of the source tapes. There is something irresistible about the appeal of bluegrass, and the treated recordings of Doc and Merle make HOME SWEET HOME sound at once fresh and authentic.

Track Listing:
1. John Henry - 3:10   2. Girl in the Blue Velvet Band - 3:37   3. Lonesome Banjo - 1:42   4. Listening to the Rain - 3:13   5. Russian Grass - 2:13   6. Worried Blues - 2:50   7. Train That Carried My Girl from Town - 3:12   8. Old Joe Clark - 2:33   9. Down the Road - 2:29   10. Big Spike Hammer - 3:12   11. Reuben's Train - 3:32   12. Little Maggie - 2:53   13. I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home - 3:51   14. Home Sweet Home - 2:47

Doc Watson (vocals, guitar) , Merle Watson (banjo) , T. Michael Coleman (bass) , Sam Bush (mandolin, fiddle) , Marty Stuart (mandolin) , Alan O'Bryant (harmony vocal)


1. AllMusic - Jana Pendragon
Originally recorded in 1967 with additional material recorded in 1998, this is a tribute to the vast talent of Merle Watson, whose life was cut short in a tractor accident in 1985. These recordings are even more impressive when it is understood that they were made just five months after Watson started playing banjo. Expert even then, he was a delight to his father, Doc. With this release, Merle Watson's place in traditional American music is defined and assured. Along with Marty Stuart, Sam Bush, Alan O'Bryantand T. Michael Coleman, Doc Watson gives these early recordings of his son's mastery a new life. Songs like "Girl in the Blue Velvet Band," "Old Joe Clark" and "Little Maggie" carry the listener away. Ending with "I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home" and "Home Sweet Home" gives this release a poignant twist. Highly recommended.

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