Act 3

Act 3

by The Seldom SceneThe Seldom Scene


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By the time the Seldom Scene had recorded its first album in 1972, Act I, the band's essential elements were fully operational. John Starling's rich lead vocals, John Duffy's higher lead, and Mike Auldridge's dobro gave the band a distinct sound, while Ben Eldridge's banjo work, Duffy's fancy mandolin licks, and Tom Gray's acoustic bass reminded doubters that the band, despite its smoothness, was a bluegrass band. The Seldom Scene always chose top-notch songs, pulling equally from classic bluegrass and contemporary singer/songwriters, and the group's harmony threw everything into high gear. By the time the Seldom Scene recorded Act 3 in 1973, the band was ready to broaden its sound, but only slightly; on several songs, the band's lineup was augmented by fiddler Ricky Skaggs and guitarist Clayton Hambrick. These changes were unobtrusively inserted into songs like the propulsive "Rider" and "Mean Mama Blues," and added to the Seldom Scene's sound without effecting the overall blueprint. Act 3, like Act 1 and Act 2, is excellent all around, and features a fine, eclectic set list. The lead instrumental track, an acoustic take on "Chim Chim Cheree," may qualify as the band's oddest album kick-off, but this slow, melancholy version is lovely. The five-minute-twenty-second "Rider" pulls out all the stops, and some listeners even prefer it to the longer version on Live at the Cellar Door, while the emotive "Muddy Water" shows that no matter how much the Seldom Scene smoothed bluegrass' rougher edges, the band could still evoke pathos. But listing the highlights of any early Seldom Scene album is only to list favorites: there are no weak links here. For anyone who wishes to hear the Seldom Scene at the top of its game, Act 3 is a good place to start.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/25/1994
Label: Rebel Records
UPC: 0032511152824
catalogNumber: 111528
Rank: 10290

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Seldom Scene   Primary Artist
Mike Auldridge   Dobro,Guitar,Vocals
Ricky Skaggs   Fiddle,Violin,Viola
John Starling   Guitar,Vocals
John Duffy   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Ben Eldridge   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals
Tom Gray   Bass,Vocals
Clayton Hambrick   Guitar
John Duffey   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals

Technical Credits

Mike Auldridge   Arranger
John Starling   Arranger
Johnnie Lee Wills   Composer
Ben Eldridge   Arranger
Charles R. Freeland   Producer
Tom Gray   Arranger
Billy Jack Wills   Composer
John Duffey   Arranger
George Motion   Engineer
John Terpay   Cover Design
Winderschmere   Sound Effects
Traditional   Composer
Ann Hill   Composer

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