Local man remembers pickin' with Doc Watson | People
SALISBURY - Steve Harrill is well known as a professor of music at Pfeiffer University in Stanly County, and as the former Music Minister at First Baptist Church of Salisbury. He's also well known as an accomplished musician.
What may not be known, at least until today, is that just last October a dream came true Harrill when he had the chance to play guitar with musical legend Doc Watson, who passed away Tuesday in a Winston Salem hospital.
"He could play all forms of music, and I believe that's one of the things that separated Doc from everybody else, his playing and his singing were just so genuine," Harrill told WBTV.
Talking about Doc Watson with Steve Harrill without his guitar just wouldn't tell the whole story. Steve has long been an admirer of Watson's and the style he mastered called flat picking...
"Where you move the pick rapidly up and down on the strings, this way, Doc took a lot of the old fiddle tunes and adapt them to the picking style he would play each of the notes, very rapidly," Harrill added.
And while it's one thing to admire that man, it's quite another to play right alongside him. It happened last October in Cleveland County at the homecoming for Lattimore Baptist Church in Cleveland County.
"My friend called me and said Doc's coming to play, and so he asked if I'd come play a couple songs with him and I said oh, I'd love to," said Harrill.
And play they did...at the church, then later, back at a friend's house...
"To be able to listen to him play right there beside me and share licks back and forth," Harrill added. "He'd even get to sing every now an then while we were playing, it was just a neat experience. I think what really sums it up for Doc is what they put on the statue there in Boone...just one of the people and I think that's how he wants to be remembered, but his music talents unbelievable, and it will really be missed."
In Boone the statue of Doc Watson on King Street is covered with flowers, notes, and cards. Steve said musicians are leaving guitar picks as a tribute.