Folk music giant Doc Watson remains in critical condition in Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The 89 year old guitarist had colon surgery last week, and also suffered a fall recently, according to his daughter, Nancy. The web site Bluegrass Today reports that Watson remains in the hospital's ICU unit and that his family has been called to his side.
Last year, when Watson came to Glenside to play the Keswick Theater in a rare appearance in the Philadelphia area, I interviewed him for the Sunday Inquirer. When asked about his health, Watson said this:
"My health, for a man 88 years old, is exceptionally good. But my thinking - I'm stressed out. My little wife has been sick since last November. She had a stroke and she was in the hospital and now she's in rehab. We're trying to get her speech straightened out.
If I have to leave pretty soon, I've fixed it to be ready to go. I sit in my rocking chair in my family room and listen to Randy Travis and his song "Doctor Jesus": "There are so many out there . . . do you think you could work me in? I need you to mend my heart and save my soul."
Now you know how I think. I'm not afraid to die, son."
"Deep River Blues" is below. Peter Figen took the picture in 1986. Check out his work here.