Ever since former Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson released his debut solo record Folksinger, Vol. 1, we’ve been waiting impatiently for Vol.2, if there would even be one. With only himself and a guitar, Willie Watson was able to accomplish what entire bands struggle to do their entire careers, which is evoke the old memories of songs from the past in a form as rich as when they were originally sung and composed. There’s just a certain magic in the muse and mannerisms in Willie’s music that make it more than just a reconstitution. It’s like you’re witnessing a ghost in your midst.
“I’m not trying to prove any point here,” Watson says about his music. “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.”
Produced by David Rawlings, Folksinger Vol. 2 was recorded on analog tape at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, TN. The album features 11 songs made famous by folks such as Leadbelly, Reverend Gary Davis, Furry Lewis, and Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The Fairfield Four joins Willie Watson on three tracks, and the album also features contributions by Gillian Welch, Morgan Jahnig of Old Crow Medicine Show, and Paul Kowert of the Punch Brothers.
Willie Watson is also known to perform with the Dave Rawlings Machine, and is set to make his acting debut in the Coen Brother’s upcoming movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
– – – – – – – – –
1. Samson And Delilah (feat. The Fairfield Four)
2. Gallows Pole
3. When My Baby Left Me
4. Dry Bones
5. Walking Boss
6. On The Road Again (feat. The Fairfield Four)
7. The Cuckoo Bird
8. Always Lift Him Up And Never Knock Him Down
9. John Henry
10. Leavin’ Blues
11. Take This Hammer (feat. The Fairfield Four)