Stan Lewis snapped "The Church of Jim Watson" (named by Stan) or the "Shroud of Touring" (named by Jeff Hart) photo of Jim.  See the halo and crosses?  Many thanks to Stan Lewis Photography for all three photos of Jim on this page.
Jim's 24th Annual Cave Christmas Show

Tom and Gail Watts shot this video of Jim and his family singing "We Three Kings."  Join in!

Click on this pic of Jim and the one below for larger versions.
An Appreciation of My Friend Mr. Watson
by Mike Craver

Went to Jim Watson's Christmas show last night at the Cave. He is amazing. He's pretty good at this stuff. The place was hot and crowded but the people were really into the music. The first set he did mostly mid tempo and thoughtful Christmas songs. Somebody (Joe?) said Watson should make a Christmas album. If anyone should, he should. (Even more than Bob Dylan -- sorry Bob!)

For the second set Watson handed around song books and everyone sang along to the carols, as is the Watson Christmas Cave Show Custom. Chapel Hill folks love this stuff. Me too. Jim has been doing his Christmas show now for 24 years. He works hard at them and practices the songs a lot, according to his wife Anne.

I remember one day long ago we were doing an in-store promo for Merchants Lunch at a record store on Franklin Street. We had brought in our instruments and were doing a short set right there in the midst of the aisles filled with bins of vinyl. A friend of mine had come to listen.

"You sounded pretty good," my friend said to me, "but my eyes kept going to Watson. He has star quality."

("Damn!" I remember jealously thinking to myself.)

But my friend was right. Watson does have that esteemed quality. I've known him and played music with him for years, through thick and thin. And he always just stands up there and commits to it 100 pecent. I have never known him not to, no matter what. Never moody, never tempermental. And he has surely learned from the years of tirelessly working and doing it well -- his voice is always clear as a bell, his diction perfect. And it comes across, because people like to listen to him and he makes them smile and makes them happy -- old folks, young folks, family, strangers, hipsters, squares.

I left after the second set, because I had a long drive back. But Watson always does a third set at his Cave show.

"Not just two sets, like these wimps today," he quipped.

Somebody else (Joe?) was saying it's also because Watson is 100 percent comfortable with himself and who he is. One can't say that about a lot of people, particularly in this Age of Anxiety and Uncertainty. (But then, what Age isn't?) Which makes one appreciate people like Watson all the more. Deck the Halls!

Two more Watts videos: "Christmas in the Trenches above and "Here Comes Santa Claus" below.
Pics and articles from Jim's 20th Annual Christmas Shows at The Cave and Hillsborough - December 2005
More Jim pics - 15th Cave Christmas Show, Benefit for Tommy Thompson, and others!
Jim's Homepage

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January 10, 2010