The Three Pickers

The Three Pickers


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Released in conjunction with an episode of PBS's Great Performances, The Three Pickers is a boon for those who love to hear -- and see -- hot, masterful picking. Even without the visuals, though, this disc proves an unending delight, as these veterans put fresh spins on some time-tested material. Joined by the inimitable Earl Scruggs on mandolin and Ricky Skaggs on mandolin, 80-year-old Doc Watson pretty much steals the show, not only with his impeccably fingerpicked guitar work but also with his amiable between-songs stage patter, which lends the affair a living room-concert intimacy. Staunch traditionalists all, the trio kick things off by sharing lead vocals and trading feisty licks on Bill Monroe's "Feast Here Tonight." On another Monroe gem, the tender-hearted "What Is a Home Without Love," Watson reminiscences the first time he heard the Monroe Brothers on his family's Gramophone player, ahead of some beautiful harmonizing with Skaggs on the choruses. "Earl's Breakdown" is an occasion for Scruggs to tear into a zigzagging banjo lead, with Skaggs in furious pursuit on mandolin and Watson bringing up the rear with a fleet-fingered bit of angular picking. Alison Krauss drops by to add some evocative fiddle commentary and pitches some chilling vocal harmony on the Carter Family's "Storms Are on the Ocean," as well as starring with Watson in a jaw-dropping a cappella reading of "Down in the Valley to Pray" (from O Brother Where Art Thou?). Gospel, breakdowns, traditional folk tales, traditional country -- no matter the style, these seasoned pros deliver the goods, and then some, when it comes to mating soulful expression to technical mastery.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/15/2003
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661052628
catalogNumber: 610526
Rank: 26380

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Earl Scruggs   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Vocals
Doc Watson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Ricky Skaggs   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Vocals
Alison Krauss   Fiddle,Vocals
John Jorgenson   Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Glen Duncan   Fiddle,Vocal Harmony
Rob Ickes   Dobro
Jim Mills   Banjo
Martin Parker   Drums
Gary Scruggs   Electric Bass,Vocals
Darrin Vincent   Acoustic Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Richard Watson   Acoustic Guitar
Cody Kilby   Acoustic Guitar
Mark Fain   Acoustic Bass
Paul Brewster   Acoustic Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Andy Leftwich   Fiddle
Brad Davis   Acoustic Guitar,Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

Earl Scruggs   Composer,Liner Notes
Ricky Skaggs   Composer,Producer,Quotes Researched & Compiled
Jimmie Rodgers   Composer
Mel Tillis   Composer
Doc Watson   Arranger,Liner Notes,Adaptation
John McEuen   Composer
Jimmie Skinner   Composer
Mother Maybelle Carter   Composer
Charles K. Harris   Composer
Jim Ed Brown   Director,Producer,Liner Notes
A.P. Carter   Composer
Sara Carter   Composer
Sarah Carter   Composer
John Ely   Composer
Brent King   Engineer
Carter Stanley   Composer
Wayne Walker   Composer
Steven Jurgensmeyer   Art Direction
Gladys Stacey   Composer
Louise Certain   Composer
Luke Wooten   Engineer
Public Domain   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Sarah Cullen   Producer
W. Walker   Composer
J. H. Carr   Composer
Maybelle Carter   Composer

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The Three Pickers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Often superstar concerts are a letdown but this one is an exception. Even the between songs chatter is good. Doc Watson seems to outshine both Ricky Skaggs and Earl Scruggs, probably because the bulk of the music is traditional. This is not to downgrade their performances, it just seems the set list played up his strengths. The modesty and decency of all three men shines through this recording and fans of folk, bluegrass, and old-time music should have this set in their collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a real showcase performance. As a novice banjo student, it's always inspiring to hear the great Earl Scruggs, but to hear him recall some of his childhood is a rare slice of history. You even get to hear him play guitar on track 4 (Who Will Sing for Me), which is a song I can't stop singing (you can ask my wife). Doc Watson's supersmooth guitar work and vocals are also a joy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Scruggs,Watson and Scaggs...what else can be said?Throw in Kentucky Thunder and Alison Krauss and you have a winner.Just an all around great CD.