Tributes have been coming in for bluegrass guitar legend Doc Watson, who passed away after abdominal surgery aged 89. A guitarist who truly changed the shape of the game, Watson went blind as a child but didn't let that stop him from mastering a style of flatpicking the guitar strings that went onto influence a whole generation and beyond. The death came as a result of a surgery that was very much needed; Watson had been in a critical condition for some time. However, it is nevertheless sad that the eight-time Grammy Award winner wasn't able to make it through the procedure.
Bluegrass singer RICKY SKAGGS Commented "He knew he wouldn't last forever, he did his best to carry the old mountain sounds to this generation," whilst Neil Portnow, the president of the Recording Academy, praised Watson for his "masterful skills as a musician and his beautiful, emotion-filled voice". Continuing, he said "Watson's immense talent and spirit will be deeply missed, and our sincerest sympathies go out to his family, friends and all who were inspired by his music."
BBC News reports that his management also released a statement, reading "Doc was a legendary performer who blended his traditional Appalachian musical roots with bluegrass, country, gospel and blues to create a unique style and an expansive repertoire," adding "He was a powerful singer and a tremendously influential picker who virtually invented the art of playing mountain fiddle tunes on the flattop guitar."