111. The Seldom Scene

The Seldom Scene are a bluegrass band from the Washington D.C. area. Their choice of non-traditional songs, plus the lack of a fiddle player mark them as true innovators in the genre. I suppose they are a personal favorite. Not as well known as most of the bands in the “big countdown”, The Seldom Scene are innovative, kinetic, and feature pleasing and expressive vocals. I especially enjoy mandolinist John Duffey’s high tenor.

The Seldom Scene

If soulful bluegrass music interests you, the place to start is The Best of The Seldom Scene, Vol. 1. After that, go to the original releases from the early 1970s, Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 and Old Train.

The beautiful “Wait A Minute”:

The Seldom Scene created some controversy among the purists by their choice of material. Here the band tears into “Rider” (I Know You Rider), popularized by the Grateful Dead. The studio version on The Best of The Seldom Scene, Vol. 1 may be my favorite version of this song, of which I keep several versions on the collection:

I wish I was a headlight, on a northbound train, I’d shine my light through the cool Colorado rain.

Here’s the list:

From The Best of The Seldom Scene, Volume 1:

The City Of New Orleans, The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭
Muddy Water, The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭
500 Miles, The Seldom Scene ✭✭
Sweet Baby James, The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭
With Body And Soul, The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭
Paradise, The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭✭
Darling Corey, The Seldom Scene ✭✭
Little Georgia Rose, The Seldom Scene ✭✭
Rider, The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭✭

From Act 2:

Small Exception Of Me, The Seldom Scene ✭✭

From Old Train:

Appalachian Rain, The Seldom Scene ✭✭
Wait A Minute, The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭

From the soundtrack to the fine documentary High Lonesome, not available on iTunes:

Muddy Water (Live), The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭
Little Georgia Rose (Live), The Seldom Scene ✭✭✭✭

Related songs:

The City Of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie ✭✭✭
The City Of New Orleans, Steve Goodman

Sweet Baby James, James Taylor ✭✭✭✭

I Know You Rider, Grateful Dead ✭✭✭ (Birth Of The Dead)
I Know You Rider, Grateful Dead ✭✭ (Birth Of The Dead)
I Know You Rider, Grateful Dead ✭✭✭✭ (Dick’s Picks Volume Eight)
I Know You Rider, Grateful Dead ✭✭✭ (Europe ’72)
I Know You Rider, Grateful Dead ✭✭✭✭ (Hundred Year Hall)

I Know My Rider, The Byrds ✭✭

500 Miles, Hoyt Axton ✭✭✭
500 Miles, The Journey Men ✭✭✭
500 Miles, Peter, Paul & Mary ✭✭

With Body And Soul, Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys ✭✭✭

Paradise, Jim & Jesse McReynolds ✭✭
Paradise, John Prine

2 thoughts on “111. The Seldom Scene

  1. Cheryl January 27, 2010 / 5:30 AM

    Wait A Minute – just elegant & beautiful – the music, the simple and totally heartfelt words. A truly great musical piece!

  2. Cheryl March 7, 2010 / 6:54 AM

    I have listened to “Wait A Minute” three dozen times since you posted it here. I still find it to be beautiful – and emotional. The video was a great find!

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