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Willie Watson
Folk Festival 2019

Willie Watson

from Los Angeles, CA

At a time when Americana is the roots music label du jour, Willie Watson has unabashedly opted for the less fancy term — folk music. He’s a folk singer with a voice that’s world weary, weathered yet sweet and at times eerie. And he sings folk songs, dubbing his first two solo albums Folk Singer Vol. 1 and Folk Singer Vol. 2. They’re collections of sparsely arranged banjo picking, guitar-strumming covers of very old songs. Yes, this is your grandparents’ folk music.  It’s an intriguing move by Watson who cofounded Old Crow Medicine Show in 1998, the platinum selling band that set the stage for the Americana movement that kicked into high gear soon after. His band paved the way for bluegrass-based, rock‘n’roll-injected groups like Avett Brothers and Trampled by Turtles. After about a decade touring and recording with the multi-award winning and chart-topping Old Crow, Watson stepped away to go it alone. He kept on writing songs, but found his true inspiration came from the old songs by legends like Leadbelly, Utah Phillips and Reverend Gary Davis. Recently, though, Watson has gone Hollywood, sorta. This year he made his acting debut in the Coen Brothers’ Netflix hit movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and his voice graces the Oscar nominated song “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings.”

Biography by Eric Rosenbaum

Concerts

Saturday July 27, 2019

4:45 PM – 5:30 PM · Lumina Stage 1

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Sessions

A collaboration with others

Sunday July 28, 2019

10:30 AM – 11:40 AM · Field Law Stage 3

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Sunday July 28, 2019

1:50 PM – 3:00 PM · National Stage 4

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Sunday July 28, 2019

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM · Move Forward YYC Stage 2

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