Thanks to Tom Gray, former bassist with both The Country Gentlemen and Seldom Scene, who shared the news earlier today on Facebook, we can all share in celebrating the 45th Anniversary of one of the most celebrated bands in the history of bluegrass.
That is Seldom Scene, who played their first show on November 1, 1971 at the Rabbit’s Foot night club in Washington DC. This was the original and much-lauded lineup, with Gray on bass, John Starling on guitar, John Duffey on mandolin, Mike Auldridge on reso-guitar, and Ben Eldridge on banjo.
Over the next six years, this group redefined the boundaries of bluegrass music, bringing in elements of folk and rock music, but always with respect to bluegrass traditions. Their double album, Live At The Cellar Door in 1975, remains perhaps the definitive statement of ’70s grass, and has long been among the bestselling records in the genre.
With 2016 also being the year when the last original member, Ben Eldridge, retired from the band, it seems particularly fitting to raise a glass and celebrate the great gift that Seldom Scene has given us over the past 45 years.
It’s been a long ride, and a good one. And it’s not over yet!
Long live Seldom Scene.