Billy Strings Honors Doc Watson With ‘Black Mountain Rag’

By Nate Todd Jun 5, 2020 11:26 am PDT

Merlefest shared video of Billy Strings on the popularized “Black Mountain Rag.” The nod to the bluegrass legend comes as part of the festival’s Doc Watson Week.

“Black Mountain Rag” is a traditional fiddle tune in the bluegrass canon. It would become Doc’s signature song, originally appearing on his 1964 self-titled debut album. The instrumental was also featured on a 2006 compilation of the same name featuring songs Doc recorded with his son Merle Watson, for whom Merlefest is named. Although a traditional bluegrass song, Doc certainly made “Black Mountain Rag” his own, as Billy Strings pointed out in the notes accompanying the video.

“Black Mountain Rag is just a classic fiddle tune!” Strings said. “I love the way Doc used to throw them little chimes in there.”

Watch Billy Strings perform “Black Mountain Rag” below:

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