A member of one of North Carolina's first families of traditional music has died. Richard Eddy Watson died Monday.

Watson was the third generation of folk guitarists in his family. He played with his grandfather, Doc Watson, on the Grammy-nominated recording “Third Generation Blues.”

But if he knew music, he also knew tragedy. His father, Merle, died in a tractor accident on the family farm when Richard was just 19. The annual MerleFest music festival is named in honor of Merle Watson.

Festival director Ted Hagaman released a statement on Richard Watson's death, calling him a fixture of Merlefest who has helped carry on the Watson legacy. Hagaman says Watson was a talented musician who will be missed.

Richard Watson was 48. A cause of death has not been released. 

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