While many folk-country artists have long since severed their connections with the blues, guitarist Doc Watson has never forgotten his. Watson's commitment to the blues deepened as his son, the late Merle Watson, picked up the guitar and joined him on-stage and in the studio. Sittin' Here Pickin' the Blues reaches back to several Doc and Merle Watson albums recorded for Rounder in the early- to mid-'80s, including the classic Pickin' the Blues. All of the 20 cuts emphasize the bluesy side of country music, from founding father Jimmie Rodgers to the Piedmont picking style of John Hurt to favorite standards like "How Long Blues." As with most of Watson and son's efforts, they surround themselves with good musicians -- Sam Bush, Mark O'Connor, and T. Michael Coleman -- and rely on straightforward arrangements that allow everyone a chance to solo. Perhaps the greatest treat, though, is the guitar playing. On a number of cuts -- including "Freight Train Blues," "Hobo Bill's Last Ride," and "Mississippi Heavy Water Blues" -- Merle Watson plays slide, while Doc Watson brings his distinct fingerpicking style to each cut. Sittin' Here Pickin' the Blues also offers a few nice surprises, like versions of "Stormy Weather" and "St. Louis Blues." This is a superb collection, sure to please Watson fans, guitar players, and anyone who enjoys honest acoustic music.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.