The new posthumously released album from the late Memphis rock-soul cat Jim Dickinson has a fitting title: "I'm Just Dead, I'm Not Gone." You could say something similar about Doc Watson, the iconic folk legend from Deep Gap. Watson passed on last month at the age of 89, but his influence will live on for as long as people are applying picks to guitars. In his absence, what was supposed to be a Watson concert has been repurposed as a tribute memorial performance and symposium put on by his friends and peers. For some of their thoughts and remembrances (plus details about the event), see the story in Sunday's paper.
The legendary guitarist, who turned 89 years old in March, was admitted to Watauga Medical Center on Monday after taking a fall at his Deep Gap home. On Thursday, he was transferred to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
Reports indicate he is being treated for pneumonia and possibly kidney failure. But Watson did not break any bones in the fall, according to his longtime onstage playing partner David Holt.
"He is a stout man who has lived 89 years with very little sickness and always been quite healthy," Holt said Thursday afternoon. "So we're hoping."
One of the giants of 20th century American music, Watson pioneered a lightning-fast style of flatpicking that has been influential among rock as well as folk musicians. His many accolades include seven Grammy Awards, as well as a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award.
Watson is scheduled to perform June 30 at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, a show called "Celebrating Doc." In 2008, at age 85, he was playing shows just a month after major surgery to remove a growth from a lung.
Here's a right nice addition to the concert schedule at the NC Museum of Art: alternative-country goddess Lucinda Williams will play there on July 27. As it happens, that's the same night the "American Idol" tour plays Raleigh's RBC Center, just a mile away. But somehow, I don't imagine that will be much of a conflict for most folks. Tickets for Lucinda go on sale Tuesday.
Between a sluggish overall economy and ticket prices that everyone agrees are too high (without actually doing anything about them, of course), the concert industry has taken a pretty serious battering in recent years. But the outdoor-concert season still rolls around this time every year. While it looks like this year will be more of a last-minute/wing-it kind of thing than in years past, some decent stuff is still headed our way. For particulars about that and schedules for the venues, see the story in Friday's paper.
Los Lobos are back in the Triangle, just a bit more than four months after their last swing through the area. Check through for some recent and not-so-recent chit-chat with various bandmembers.
Neko Case was scheduled to play Raleigh's NC Museum of Art in two weeks, but the date is off. Citing exhaustion from an overextended work schedule (namely lots and lots of touring on her own as well as with New Pornographers since January 2009), Case has pulled the plug on her August live dates -- including Aug. 19 at the NCMA.
Venue management hopes to have her there sometime next year. Meantime, here's the word about refunds for ticket-holders:
The North Carolina Museum of Art will refund all tickets purchased for the Neko Case concert at full price including the processing fee. Ticket holders must return the physical tickets to the NCMA Box Office to receive a refund.
Tickets may be mailed to the address below or returned in person at the Box Office during regular business hours. Refunds will be issued according to the original method of payment: credit cards will be credited the full refund amount; cash orders will be refunded by an NCMA check mailed to the ticket buyer. Cash refunds are not available. For tickets returned in person that were originally paid for with cash, an NCMA check will be issued and mailed to the ticket buyer.
If tickets are currently being held at Will Call, ticket buyers should call the Box Office for a refund to be issued. Questions or concerns about refunds may be directed to the NCMA Box Office at 919/715-5923.
NCMA Box Office
4630 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4630
The Museum Box Office is located in the lobby of East Building.
Tuesday–Thursday: 10 am–5 pm
Friday: 10 am–9 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
Apparently, Neko Case likes it here in the Triangle. She's in Chapel Hill tonight to sing with the pop ensemble New Pornographers at UNC's Memorial Hall. And she'll be back in less than two months, in her solo-chanteuse incarnation for an Aug. 19 performance at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh. Tickets go on sale Tuesday.
This just in: Doc Watson's show at Raleigh's NC Museum of Art has been postponed to 3 p.m. Sunday, on account of an increasingly ominous weather forecast for Saturday night. Looks like it will be raining heavily Saturday, so organizers have bumped the show to the next day.
I got a few blocks down the street from my house Saturday night before realizing I'd forgotten my earplugs. And I almost didn't go back to get them. I was going to see They Might Be Giants at the NC Museum of Art, so how loud could it be?
Plenty, as it turned out, and I was very glad I turned around to go get those earplugs. The days when the duo of John Linnell and John Flansburgh would play at toy-instrument volumes are long gone. Between the full-band lineup they've sported for more than a decade and the fact that they have a children's-music alter ego to indulge their cutesy side (they also played a soldout kids show Saturday afternoon), TMBG's grownup side is pretty loud and proud.
"This is kind of a rock dream for us," Flansburgh said between songs at one point. While I'm sure he meant that ironically, it fit nevertheless. Even "Birdhouse in Your Soul," the second song in the set, packed a snarl that almost took me aback. But it was still effective, and quirkiness did ultimately rule the evening. They offered up "The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma" as a scientifically correct answer to "The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas"; rocked up "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" even more than "Birdhouse"; and paid tribute to the art-museum venue with "Meet James Ensor," about the Belgian painter -- complete with confetti-cannon salute. 'Twas cool.
They Might Be Giants are playing in Raleigh on Saturday, in both their kids-music and adult-music guises. For lots more spiel (past as well as present), about their split personalities, budding sports empire and general all-around quirkiness, click on through.