David Sebring passes

The Bluegrass Band – Dave Sebring, in the middle on bass © Stephanie P. Ledgin

David Sebring passed away on January 4, 2018. He was in hospice care at McKendree Village, Hermitage, near Nashville. Sebring was 66 years old.

Born on August 13, 1951, he worked with The Bluegrass Band, The Nashville Jug Band, The Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and he was one of the founders of the Gypsy Hombres, a Django-style trio as the guitarist. Sebring actually suggested the adopted name of the band in which bass player Gene Libbea played at one time.

Sebring worked for George Gruhn at Gruhn’s Guitars shop in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

He played on bass two tracks on Butch Robins’ Forty Years Late (Rounder 0086, released in 1977). 

His connection with Robins extended to his playing in The Bluegrass Band and playing bass, on their Voyager LP Another Saturday Night (VRLP 330 S, released in 1982), re-issued as 2nd Cut (Hay Holler HHH 100, as a CD, released in 1991). 

John Hedgecoth, a one-time Blue Grass Boy, a member of Tennessee Blues, and of the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble remembers ..

“David was one of the first people I met when my wife Lynn and I moved to Nashville in 1974. We bonded over Bill Monroe’s Uncle Pen album. We had each learned all the tunes. David was a wonderful musician, could play all the stringed instruments, and knew old time fiddle tunes, bluegrass and jazz. 

He was a great musician and a wonderful friend.”

George Gruhn shares an amusing recollection ….

“David worked for me in sales from the early 1970s well into the 1990s. The total time of his employment was about 22 years.

At one time during the mid-1990s he took a two-year break. He left one day right at lunch time and said he’d be back after his break. About two years later immediately after lunch time, he walked back in and settled back in at his desk which was still vacant. I commented ‘Dave, that was a rather long lunch break.’ He said ‘Yes, I meant to just go to lunch, but I was heading west in the car and decided to keep going till I got to California.’ He went right back to work.

Dave was an exceptionally fine musician who had a real passion for the instruments as well as the music. He was not a high-pressure salesman. He viewed his job as a matchmaker to place instruments in a good adoptive home where they would be paired with an owner who appreciated them. He was a great asset to the business and remained a good friend for us and his many customers.”

R.I.P. Dave Sebring

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.