(EAST MEREDITH) Saturday, September 29, starting at 7PM, the West Kortright Centre presents iconic bluegrass band The Seldom Scene. Stunning musicianship, a signature sound, a solid repertoire, and a sheer sense of fun have maintained The Seldom Scene’s vast popularity for more than forty years.
The original five members formed the band after jamming together weekly in a Bethesda, Maryland basement in 1971. They chose the name based on their once-a-week local restaurant gigs. Their legendary weekly residencies included bluegrass versions of country music, pop, rock, and even classical tunes. The inclusion of dobro (resonator guitar) rather than a fiddle, smooth harmonies, a love of eclectic material, and colorful stage antics contributed to the group’s unique sound and influence on the progression of the bluegrass genre.
2007’s Scenechronized (Sugar Hill) was nominated for a Grammy. In 2014, Long Time…Seldom Scene was released on Smithsonian Folkways. The band recently signed with Rounder Records for a highly anticipated Fall 2018 release. The Seldom Scene has performed at the White House many times, and still tours year-round. When performing live, the group enjoys stretching out songs, allowing members to take extended solos that sounded closer to jazz than bluegrass.
The band’s lineup has changed numerous times throughout the years, and though some long-time fans may think of the first edition of the band when they hear the name, many of the current members have been in the group even longer than the original players ever were. Dudley Connell, a member since 1995, plays a masterful guitar and provides powerful lead vocals. Audiences delight in his renditions of traditional songs like "Old Train,” folk ballads such as “Blue Diamond Mine,” and blues songs like “Rollin' and Tumblin'.” Lou Reid, with the band 1986–1993 and again since 1996, plays mandolin and provides the powerful “high, lonesome” tenor that is the signature of bluegrass music. With The Scene since 1995, Ronnie Simpkins plays rock-steady bass for the group and provides the bass vocals. Banjo player Ron Stewart joined the unit in 2016. He is one of the most sought after multi-instrumental session players in the genre's history. Fred Travers, also a member since 1995, is one of the most respected dobro players in bluegrass today and is also an accomplished vocalist.
This concert is sponsored by Quality Inn Oneonta and Courtney Funeral Home in Walton. Tickets are $38 ($42 day of); WKC Member $34 ($38); $14 Under 19. Tickets are available online until 7pm on Friday, September 28, and at the ticket booth, starting at 6PM on Saturday 9/29. The Tulip and the Rose will be on-site, selling sandwiches and other fare before the show, starting at 5pm.
The West Kortright Centre is located midway between Oneonta, Delhi, and Stamford. Follow signs from state Route 23 in Davenport Center or state Route 10 east of Delhi. For advance tickets and exact travel directions, visit www.westkc.org or call (607) 278-5454.