Considering the scores of recordings that Doc Watson made, the word "definitive" is a pretty big claim -- but in this case we would say it's justified, because despite Doc's many other affiliations (including records for Flying Fish, Folkways, United Artists and a nice "Legacy' set on David Holt's label among others), the Vanguard and Sugar Hill labels held most of Watson's very best work (and now both labels are combined under the WELK MUSIC moniker). Compiled and annotated with love and care by long time Sugar Hill producer Fred Jasper, this 2-CD set will stand up as the very best introduction to this legendary giant of rural American music, as well as a fine place to turn anytime for a good dose of Doc's great guitar picking and singing. There are 34 tracks here, with about 3 cuts each from such memorable albums as Doc at Gerdes' Folk City, Portrait, Southbound, Home Again, and Riding on That Midnight Train (his Bluegrass album). Starting with his 1965 "Doc Watson & Son" LP for Vanguard, Doc focused much attention on his son Merle, who is to be heard on here (and who turned out to be a fine musician in his own right before his tragic death in a tractor accident). In the way of notes, there are two nicely done appreciations of Watson: well-written tributes by Fred Jasper and Derek Halsey. And then there are the tunes & songs --such masterpieces at BLACK MOUNTAIN RAG, WILLIE MOORE, BLUE RAILROAD TRAIN, SOUTHBOUND, TENNESSEE STUD, OMIE WISE, GREENVILLE TRESTLE HIGH, LITTLE SADIE and so many more --all sung with Watson's innate good taste (we have never heard even one "poor" recording by this wonderful artist).