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Doc Watson

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Doe and Merle Watson, Two Days in November, Poppy PP LA 210 G. In case you haven't been to your local record store lately, i have to teil you that most record corhpanies have raised their standard single disc to S6.98 list. This means that in AA you probably pay anywhere from $4.75 on up for most LP's. It is no longer possible for most of us to buy a record on faith without hearing it. Well, my point is, if you have to piek your records carefuily, stay away from this one. Oh, it's a Doe Watson album and therefore it has some very good moments, but I can't recommend it to you people with Ümited funds. Doe has lately been into making comrnercially acceptable albums even when he sticks to traditional folk music. His choice of material on this LP is some of the most common and, consequently, uninteresting stuff Doe has ever done. lt's possible that this record company (Poppy) is forcing this on Doe. (This is his third album since leaving Vanguard Records). Also this album is incredibly short, ten songs (22 min.). There is no arguing that Doe is one of the finest country guitar pickers alive, but if we only had this record to prove it, we would be in trouble. You see, on this LP we never know who is playing the guitar. The liner notes say Jim Colvard and Doe and Merle Watson on guitar, but who is playing which guitar and when? Also, two cuts, "Kawliga" and "The Train that Carried My Girl From Town ," have clawhammer and bluegrass banjo respectively, but no one gets credit for them. Then Doe DUBBED the harmonica. OVERDUBBED! For a man who has been playing guitar and harp at the same time fot years on stage, what does he have to doublé track for? It is things like this that take all the fun out of this record. And ['m afraid to mention that this album has piano solos. Yep, that's right, piano on a Doe Watson album. I have the sneaking suspicion tliat producer Jack Clement is responsible for some of this nonsense, but to take himself off the hook he includes some dialogue from the recording sessions which he got on tape between songs. It's Doc's voice telling the other musicians how much fun he's having playing these tunes. !f this were really a great album, we would be able to teil from the performances that they were enjoying themselves. If you really like Doe Watson, as 1 do, save your money and buy "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" on United Arttst records, a three-record set weil worth it. I hate to continue to harp on the price of this record, but 1 can't urge you to pay 21 cents per minute for this half-hearted attempt by a great musician.