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Different Roads

Seldom Scene

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Album Review

The Seldom Scene held a pivotal position in the early- to mid-'70s bluegrass scene. The group's bluegrass style and song choices was more progressive than Bill Monroe's but never so adventurous as the New Grass Revival. In essence, the Seldom Scene split the difference, but thanks to the group's harmony, instrumental prowess, and John Starling's and John Duffey's lead vocals, this never sounded like a watered-down compromise. Almost any songs collected from the Seldom Scene's first seven albums would have made a solid collection, so it's easy to predict that Different Roads is a winner without even listening to it. David Freeman points out in the liner notes that the collection includes three of the band's most requested songs, "Wait a Minute," "Old Train," and "Easy Ride from Good Times to the Blues," and there are great takes on Paul Craft's "Keep Me from Blowing Away" and Norman Blake's "Last Train from Poor Valley." The tracking jumbles chronological order, but since the Seldom Scene's arrangements were the same with minor exceptions during this period (1973-1976), it all flows as a piece. The album, at almost 42 minutes, is short, but it still contains 14 prime cuts from one of the best newgrass bands. Different Roads is a good introduction to the Seldom Scene in its first and arguably best configuration, a collection that will hopefully lead the listener to seek out the band's first seven albums. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Formed: 1971 in Washington, D.C.

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Since their inception in 1971, the Seldom Scene have thrived on playing bluegrass a little differently than everyone else. If other bands used a fiddler, the Seldom Scene used a Dobro; if others relied on old standards, the Seldom Scene played rock classics like J.J. Cale's "After Midnight." Through skilled musicianship and an urban approach to bluegrass, the Seldom...
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Different Roads, Seldom Scene
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