Oct 27 2019
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The Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo Town, Sligo,
For nearly two decades, Willie Watson has made modern folk music rooted in older traditions, currently as a solo troubadour and previously as lead singer with Old Crow Medicine Show.
For nearly two decades, Willie Watson has made modern folk music rooted in older traditions, currently as a solo troubadour and previously as lead singer with Old Crow Medicine Show. He’s a folksinger in the classic sense: a singer, storyteller, and traveller, with a catalogue of songs that bridge the gap between the past and present. He acts as a modern interpreter of older songs, passing along his own version of the music that came long before him.
Southern gospel. Railroad songs. Delta blues. Irish fiddle tunes. Appalachian music. His latest album Folksinger Vol. 2 makes room for it all. Produced by David Rawlings, the album carries on a rich tradition in folk music: the sharing and swapping of old songs. Long ago, the 11 compositions that appear on Folksinger Vol. 2 were popularized by artists like Leadbelly, Reverend Gary Davis, Furry Lewis, and Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The songs don’t belong to those artists, though. They don’t belong to anyone. Instead, they’re part of the folk canon, passed from generation to generation by singers like Watson.
In a new chapter to his career, Willie Watson appears alongside Brendan Gleeson, Liam Neeson and Tom Waits in the latest Coen Brothers movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. He also co-performs Dave Rawlings/Gillian Welch’s Oscar nominated song from the film, When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings with Tim Blake Nelson.