Doc Watson prescribes benefit concert

Article Published: Oct. 6, 2011 | Modified: Oct. 8, 2011
Doc Watson prescribes benefit concert

From left, Jens Krüger, Richard Watson, Joel Landsberg, Doc Watson, Charles Welch and Uwe Krüger will share the Farthing Auditorium stage Saturday, Oct. 8, for a concert to benefit ASUs sustainable development program.
Photos by Frank Ruggiero

Grammy Award-winning guitarist and local icon Doc Watson will perform Saturday, Oct. 8, to benefit Appalachian State University’s sustainable development program.

Already the namesake of a scholarship that supports sustainable development students, Watson approaches the performance with a certain quality that transcends music.

“Gentle pride, son,” he said. “I help do it, and I thank the good Lord for it. It’ll help young people that need it.”

Members of the sustainable development program hail Watson as “a beacon of sustainable development practices,” calling him a longtime proponent of the program.

But Watson’s no stranger to helping his fellow man. Blind since birth, he recalls an instance as a young man when he came to the aid of a stranger. The stranger, a man between 55 and 60 years old, per Watson’s recollection, was dragging wood home along Wildcat Road in Deep Gap.

Watson, walking along the same load, stopped to help the man with his burden. “My friend, I figured I needed to help you a bit,” Watson recalls telling him.

And like the stranger, Watson’s not alone for the Oct. 8 concert. His son, Richard, friend Charles Welch and bluegrass virtuosos The Krüger Brothers will join him in the benefit.

Concertgoers can expect a set from Doc and friends, a Krüger set, and then an all-out jam. As for the playlist?

“I don’t ever plan a concert till I get there, buddy,” Watson said.

The same goes for The Krüger Brothers.

“One of the nice things about being in The Krüger Brothers is I never know what’s going to be on the program,” Krüger bassist Joel Landsberg said. “We have such a vast repertoire and so many great songs, and Uwe (Krüger) is sort of the master of ceremonies; he can judge the feel of the audience and cater our program according to the mood of the room.”

Landsberg said the Krügers certainly have some standards that an audience would enjoy hearing, including one of the band’s staples, the appropriately timed “Carolina in the Fall.”

People can expect one thing for certain: “An evening of beautiful music from The Krüger Brothers and, of course, the legendary Doc Watson,” Landsberg said. “For us, it’s always an honor to share the stage with him. He’s such an icon and such a great influence.”

Like Watson, the Krügers are also glad to support the sustainable development program.

“We think it’s a great thing they’re doing,” Landsberg said. “Sustainable development is the only way to advance into the future. In the area we live in, it’s such an important endeavor.”

Landsberg and fellow band members Jens Krüger (banjo) and Uwe Krüger (lead vocals, guitar) feel strongly about preserving the High Country’s future for generations to come.

They made their home in Wilkes County after performing extensively in Europe, where Jens and Uwe originally hail.

“The area here in Western North Carolina has been so supportive and so good to us, we’re happy when we can do something to give back,” Landsberg said, “and the only thing we can do is play music, so we’re happy to do that.”

The show takes place in ASU’s Farthing Auditorium, located at 733 Rivers St. in Boone, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for ASU students, $15 for ASU faculty and staff, and $20 for the general public.

They’re available at the Farthing box office and online at Box office hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call the Farthing box office at (800) 841-2787 or visit

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