Scene It Allby The Seldom Scene
SCENE IT ALL, the first album in four years from bluegrass torchbearers Seldom Scene, finds the group in good form. The quintet demonstrates it's energy and chops with a grab bag of tunes from the likes of Muddy Waters, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan. The band's lineup has changed dramatically since their last effort. Several members left to form Chesapeake, and those that remained were shaken by the 1996 death of founding member John Duffey. But the fresh, inventive banjo of cofounder Ben Aldridge continues to anchor the group, and bluegrass veteran Dudley Connell's clear tenor adds urgency to cuts such as David Norris's "Dusty" and Webb Pierce's "Walkin' the Dog." Muddy Waters's "Rollin' and Tumblin' " plays to Seldom Scene's strengths. Aldridge's rolling banjo kicks things off. Then Connell's powerful blues-inflected voice joins in as the band plays a funky ostinato. Seldom Scene understand their predecessors' entertaining yen for genre-slashing song choices. Like Bill Monroe before them, they have a way of attacking pop, traditional, and blues material that makes their common roots visible. Chuck Berry's "Nadine" gets a high-lonesome hillbilly treatment that would make the composer, who consciously shaped himself after country stars, proud. All in all, SCENE IT ALL is great fun from a great band. Don't miss the secret track, a brief rehearsal with the late John Duffey. Karl Hagstrom Miller
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I have the good fortune to be closely associated with the banjo player, Ben Eldridge and have heard some cuts. It is excellent. It is great to see the mixture of music genre, very eclectic. A must buy for those who have watched The Seldom Scene honor the Bluegrass tradition.