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Doc Watson Family Milestones Kickstarter Announced

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MilestonesIn April 2013, Open Records will release a multi-disc collection of 92 never-before-heard recordings from the Watson family archive, compiled and organized by Doc Watson’s daughter Nancy Watson. The collection features rare 1950s recordings of Doc Watson playing electric guitar and original songs by Doc and other members of the family. Also included are songs and stories from the family, recorded by the family themselves, that offer an intimate look into the musical life of this extraordinary family. A new Kickstarter program has been launched to help achieve a timely completion of the project.

Collages of hundreds of Watson family photographs dating back over 100 years accompany the collection. Click here for more info and to listen to sample tracks and see samples of the art.

Nancy Watson, Doc Watson's only daughter, would like to tell you a story. It is a story made up of songs, family history, narrative and photographs over a decade in the making. It is called Doc Watson Family Milestones.

Doc Watson Family Milestones is a collection that was created entirely from within the family, with input from Doc himself. It quite literally began with scissors and construction paper, string and glue, recently found reel-to-reel tapes, and stacks of family photo albums.

With your help, this multi-disc collection will be released April 2013 and the music and traditions of the Watson family will continue to inspire. Along with Nancy's handmade photo collages and personal musical discoveries, the four-CD, special-edition box set will include mastered audio by GRAMMY Award winning engineer Bill Wolf, and package design by legendary GRAMMY Award winner Gary Burden, a pioneer of album cover art.

We want to uphold Nancy and Doc's wish to offer this one-of-a-kind box-set at an affordable price. In order to do so, we have to print many more copies than what we can currently afford. Our goal is to print at least 5000 copies - let's make it happen.
What makes Doc Watson Family Milestones special:

  • Recordings made by various members of the Watson family in an informal setting, without outside influence and for their own enjoyment.
  • Rare selections that Doc Watson recorded by himself at home, using a multi-track tape machine, on which he creates a veritable one-man string band.
  • Material ranging from Doc’s father-in-law Gaither Carlton singing songs and playing fiddle and banjo tunes, to Doc telling stories of his early life, to work songs sung by Doc Watson's mother.
  • Recordings from the 1950s of Doc playing his Les Paul electric guitar - unavailable until now. At this early point in his career, he was playing pop, jazz and rockabilly standards with pianist Jack Williams.
  • Three original songs written by Doc Watson, and original material from other members of the family as well.
  • Home recordings of rehearsals for the 1961 Friends of Old-Time Music, as well as live concert performances spanning decades.
  • Ballads by Doc, Nancy, and Rosa Lee Watson (Doc’s wife and Nancy’s mother) who also wrote two songs in the collection.
  • Collages of photographs created by Nancy. Over 500 in number, the pictures were carefully chosen from family photo albums and arranged to support the music you’ll hear.

This is what we’ll use our Kickstarter Funds For:

  • Audio mastering of the four-CD set by GRAMMY Award winning engineer Bill Wolf.
  • Box set design by legendary GRAMMY Award winning artist Gary Burden.
  • Environmentally sustainable paper (Rainforest Alliance backed, FSC certified) for the box set, thanks to our paper provider, Appleton.
  • Book production and CD manufacturing for 5000 units.
  • Production of a limited edition run of 500 numbered, foil stamped box sets, available to Kickstarter backers.

This is why we need you.

If we only make 1000 copies of Doc Watson Family Milestones, it will cost over $100 to buy. By producing more copies, the price per copy will be reduced drastically, and will allow us to offer the set at a more affordable price. The production costs to this point have been incurred primarily by Nancy Watson herself, and printing 5000 copies is simply an unaffordable prospect for the family to handle on their own.

Nancy's goal for Doc Watson Family Milestones is to share the story of music and family with Doc's extended family - those who love and cherish his music.Production of a limited edition run of 500 numbered, foil stamped box sets, available to Kickstarter backers.

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