Seldom Scene Live at the Cellar Door reenactment show

This past Saturday night the current members of Seldom Scene assembled at Mount Airy Farm near Warsaw, VA to reenact the performance from 1974 that was released as the classic album, Live at the Cellar Door, on Rebel Records. The album is among the top sellers in the history of bluegrass music, and had been recently reissued in 2019 as a CD box set with a 12-page booklet and several unpublished photographs.

The 2-LP album original introduced thousands of new fans to the music of John Starling, John Duffey, Ben Eldridge, Mike Auldridge, and Tom Gray, and is viewed as one of the most important of the 20th century in bluegrass music.

Today’s Seldom Scene consists of Dudley Connell on guitar, Lou Reid on mandolin, Fred Travers on reso-guitar, Ronnie Simpkins on bass, and Ron Stewart on fiddle and banjo.

Show promoter Tayloe Emery tells us that the concert on September 25 was a complete sellout, with 1200 attendees on the farm seated on a grassy hillside enjoying the band perform all of the songs from the album, in order, in as close a replica of the original as they could manage. Most of the concertgoers came from outside the area, with some traveling from as far as Louisiana, California, Illinois, and New York. A few in the audience had also been in the audience for the 1974 concert at the Cellar Door in Washington, DC.

After an opening set from Shannon Bielsky and Moonlight Drive, the Scene played two sets, earning standing ovations for both Rider and Wait A Minute.

Seeing the reaction from the audience, Dudley said, “I realized tonight fully what this album means to our fans.”

Also at the show was drone photographer Bill Dedo, who shared these overhead shots of the farm.

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About the Author

Jeromie Stephens

Jeromie Stephens has been photographing bluegrass musicians for a little over 30 years. In keeping with the photo-reportage styles of Jim Marshall, Carl Fleischauer and Les Leverett, he shoots in black and white and tries to always stay in close to his subjects. He was first published by FRETS! Magazine in 1986, his junior year of high school. He's illustrated articles for Bluegrass Unlimited, Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, The Washington Post, The Nashville Tennessean and Fretboard Journal. Additionally his photos have been used in CD packages for musicians like Tony Rice, Danny Gatton and Lou Pallo. Jeromie lives in Fredericksburg, VA with his wife, April and youngest son, JJ. You are likely to see JJ with his Dad taking photos at festivals.