Like many long-running bluegrass bands, The Seldom Scene had a constantly changing lineup, helmed (until he passed away) by John Duffey, a versatile multi-instrumentalist who founded the band in 1971 after a long tenure with the Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen. Among the many talented pickers and singers who've played in the band, the Seldom Scene has been home to Mike Auldridge, John Starling, Phil Rosenthal and Tom Gray, and in the 1980s recorded one album with singer-songwriter Jonathan Edwards. After John Duffey passed away in 1996, banjo player Ben Eldridge -- one of the original founding members -- became the driving force behind keeping the band together and revitalizing their sound. Here's a quick look at their work...
Seldom Scene "The Best Of The Seldom Scene, v. 1" (Rebel, 1987)
Seldom Scene "The Best Of The Seldom Scene" (Rebel, 1994)
Seldom Scene "Different Roads" (Sugar Hill, 2007)
Seldom Scene "Act I" (Rebel, 1972)
Seldom Scene "Act II" (Rebel, 1973)
Seldom Scene "Act III" (Rebel, 1973)
Seldom Scene "Old Train" (Rebel, 1973)
Seldom Scene "Live At The Cellar Door" (Rebel, 1975)
Seldom Scene "The New Seldom Scene Album" (Rebel, 1976)
Seldom Scene "Baptizing" (Rebel, 1978)
An all gospel album...
Seldom Scene "Act IV" (Sugar Hill, 1979)
Seldom Scene "After Midnight" (Sugar Hill, 1981)
On this classic album, the Scene cover a couple of songs identified with rock-blues legend Eric Clapton, JJ Cale's "After Midnight" and "Lay Down Sally," as well as a sizzling rendition of Benny Goodman's swing-jazz standard, "Stompin' At The Savoy." Sweet stuff!
Seldom Scene "At The Scene" (Sugar Hill, 1983)
Jonathan Edwards & The Seldom Scene "Blue Ridge" (Sugar Hill, 1985)
A collaboration with singer-songwriter Jonathan Edwards...
Seldom Scene "15th Anniversary Celebration" (Sugar Hill, 1986)
Seldom Scene "A Change Of Scenery" (Sugar Hill, 1988)
Seldom Scene "Scenic Roots" (Sugar Hill, 1990)
Seldom Scene "Scene 20: 20th Anniversary Concert" (Sugar Hill, 1992)
Seldom Scene "Like We Used To Be" (Sugar Hill, 1994)
Seldom Scene "Dream Scene" (Sugar Hill, 1996)
A mighty fine album by these bluegrass/newgrass old-timers... This is the last Seldom Scene album featuring the band's co-founder, the late John Duffey, and his presence lifts and guides the project... Fine harmonies, crisp, smooth picking and a nice, sincere feel for the material. This edition of the band features Dudley Connell on guitar, Ben Eldridge on banjo, Ronnie Simpkins on bass and Fred Travers on dobro... They sound completely in synch... this is a mighty fine album, with a warm mix of secular and gospel material, traditional and new tunes. Recommended!
Seldom Scene "Scene It All" (Sugar Hill, 2000)
This is the band's first album following the passing away of founder John Duffey... It's a fine album, featuring most of the same guys who were on the previous album, with mandolinist Lou Reid coming in to fill the void left by Duffey's departure, and banjoist Ben Eldridge as the lone original member left on board. I'm not sure, though, if I see the point of continuing the franchise without Duffey there; he added a unique personal warmth to the band, and these guys sound like just another crackerjack modern 'grass outfit. They retain the folkie feel of the old Seldom Scene, but possibly not the same magic. Anyway, as far as the music goes, this is still quite nice... It might not be the top of my list, but it sure ain't anywhere near the bottom. Worth checking out!
Seldom Scene "Scenechronized" (Sugar Hill, 2007)
Hick Music Index