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Produced by Dave Rawlings in Nashville, TN, the album features eleven songs unearthed from the canon of American folk music including songs popularized by Leadbelly, Reverend Gary Davis, Furry Lewis and Bascom Lamar Lunsford. In addition to The Fairfield Four on three tracks, the album features Gillian Welch, Old Crow Medicine Show’s Morgan Jahnig and Punch Brothers’ Paul Kowert.
“I’m not trying to prove any point here,” Watson comments, “and I’m not trying to be a purist. There’s so much beauty in this old music, and it affects me on a deep level. It moves me and inspires me. I heard Leadbelly singing with the Golden Gate Quartet and it sounded fantastic, and I thought, ‘I want to do that.’ I heard the Grateful Dead doing their version of ‘On the Road Again,’ and it sounded like a dance party in 1926, and I wanted to do that, too. That’s the whole reason I ever played music in the first place— because it looked and sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun.”
The new album arrives three years after Folk Singer Vol. 1—Watson’s first release since parting ways with Old Crow Medicine Show in 2011. Released to widespread acclaim, Rolling Stone named the album one of “26 Albums of 2014 You Probably Didn't But Really Should Hear” asserting, “Watson’s voice carries the weight of generations past, but on Folk Singer, it’s still appropriate for the one we live in, right now.”
Based in Los Angeles, Watson is a member of the Dave Rawlings Machine and will soon make his acting debut in the Coen Brother’s latest project, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
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