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Doc Watson. Photo by Peter Figen

Five-Time Grammy Winner Doc Watson to Lead Off Clark Music Series

For Immediate Release

October 01, 2001

Legendary musician Doc Watson will lead off the series "American Roots: Traditional Music from the Rural South" at the Clark Art Institute this fall and winter. Watson, a five-time Grammy winner, will perform at the Clark on Friday, October 19, at 8:00 p.m. in the first of five concerts. The series will feature the "old-timey" American country music that gained newfound popularity following the success of the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? Norman Blake, featured on the film's soundtrack, will perform on Saturday, November 3, at 8:00 p.m. Upcoming concerts in January and February will feature Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, and Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet. Tickets to each concert are $20 ($18 for members and students). Tickets are available at the Clark museum shop or by calling 413-458-2303, extension 324.

Watson, a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and a National Heritage Fellowship, blends his traditional Appalachian roots with bluegrass, country, gospel, and blues. The 78-year-old singer and guitarist, known for playing mountain fiddle tunes on the flattop guitar, has recorded more than fifty albums, winning Grammy awards for On Praying Ground, Riding the Midnight Train, Live and Pickin', Two Days in November, and Then and Now. A New York Times review called Watson "a one-man archive of songs from the Great Smoky Mountains and beyond."

Norman Blake's album Far Away, Down on a Georgia Farm, was recently nominated for "Best Traditional Folk Album" at the 2002 Grammy Awards—his sixth nomination. Blake is featured on two tracks on the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack, which went to number one on the country charts. He played guitar on the songs by the film's fictional "Soggy Bottom Boys." The Chattanooga, Tennessee, has performed with country and folk legends including the Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

The series will continue in January with a performance by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason on January 19. Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart will perform on February 2. On February 22, the series will conclude with an appearance by zydeco legends Beausoleil with guest Michael Doucet.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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