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  • Long Time... Seldom Scene, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings release from 2014

    Long Time... Seldom Scene, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings release from 2014

    Free Concert by The Seldom Scene at 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

    On Friday, June 28, The Seldom Scene, an influential D.C.-area bluegrass band that has played a significant role in popularizing the genre for over 40 years, will perform free at the 2013 Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The concert is also a preview of Longtime…Seldom Scene, the group’s first album with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (available in 2014).

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    Who: The Seldom Scene
    Where: Smithsonian Folklife Festival - National Mall in Washington D.C. (Smithsonian Metro stop), at the Danubia Stage (Hungarian Heritage program).
    When: Friday, June 28, 6 - 7:15 pm
    Admission: Free and open to the general public (seating is first-come, first-served under a tented stage)
    What: 2013 Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert in honor of Peter Seitel

    VIDEO: Watch current and former members perform "Through the Bottom of the Glass"

    The concert is presented annually in memory of Ralph Rinzler, the co-founder of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year’s concert honors former Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Director Peter Seitel.

    The Seldom Scene began as a non-touring bluegrass band in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland. Bluegrass reached a second peak in popularity in the early 1970s, and the progressive bluegrass style played by The Seldom Scene was particularly popular. Original Seldom Scene mandolin player, John Duffey, anchored the group with his stratospheric tenor, and the vocal blend of The Scene set a new standard attracting growing audiences to what had been niche music. Their weekly shows included bluegrass versions of country music, rock, and even classical pop. The band's popularity soon forced them to play more than once a week—but they continued to maintain their image as being seldom seen, and on several of their early album covers were photographed with the stage lights on only their feet, or with their backs to the camera.Currently, the band consists of Dudley Connell (guitar/ vocals), original member Ben Eldridge (banjo/guitar/vocals), Lou Reid (mandolin/guitar/ vocals), Fred Travers (dobro/ vocals), and Ronnie Simpkins (bass/ vocals).