Black Mountain Rag

Doc Watson introduced this traditional fiddle tune into the flatpicking guitar repertoire on his 1964 Vanguard recording, Doc Watson, (which also includes other classics like Deep River Blues and Doc's Guitar) and it has been a signature piece of his ever since. He has been known to use Black Mountain Rag to showcase his tremendous speed by concluding his performance of it with several choruses at successively faster tempos. We'll either skip that altogether or start (and end) at much slower tempos than his!

Audio clip: Black Mountain Rag - Doc Watson



The second clip is from another very influential flatpicker, Clarence White. If Doc "owns" this tune, Clarence took it out on long-term loan and gave it back with his fingerprints all over it. It is included on a unique recording entitled 33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals which sounds more like a demo than a studio project, featuring only White’s lead guitar and Roger Bush playing rhythm. The recording provides a rare opportunity to hear a gifted artist at work without the gloss and polish we've come to expect. Here's your chance to sit at the other end of the couch from Clarence White and listen to him pick a few.

Audio clip: Black Mountain Rag - Clarence White