At long last, here’s some news out of Washington that everyone can feel good about: The Seldom Scene is in the studio working on a new CD.
Longtime…Seldom Scene will be released in 2014 on the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label. The project will feature material from across the band’s incredible 42-year span. It will meet the demand of fans who want to hear the “old” material performed by the “new” band. “New” is a relative term, of course, since the current lineup has been in place since 1996. And founding member and banjo man Ben Eldridge has been there from the start. In fact, the Scene was born at a jam at his house.
The rest of the “new” lineup includes Dudley Connell on guitar, Lou Reid on mandolin, Fred Travers on Dobro and Ronnie Simpkins on bass. All of them sing, but the tight harmonies of Dudley, Lou and Fred are what truly define the band’s sound. Word on the street is that the quintet will be joined on the album by former members John Starling and Tom Gray.
Washington-area fans will get a preview of some of the material Friday night, when the Seldom Scene plays a free concert on the National Mall in Washington. And everybody can get a sneak peak at what to expect on the record in this video, featuring John and Tom with current members of the band. Fittingly, the video was recorded in Ben’s living room.