Seldom Scene Signs with Rounder for Next CD
November 28, 2017 by John Lawless (Bluegrass Today)
Though details are scant, Rounder Records has announced that bluegrass supergroup Seldom Scene has signed with the label for their next album.
A new project is set to be recorded, starting early in 2018, with newest member Ron Stewart on banjo and fiddle. No likely release date has yet been suggested.
To date, Ron has only done a couple of shows with the Scene, starting over this past Thanksgiving weekend, during which the guys grabbed this bit of video at the Capitol Ale House in Richmond, VA.
Seldom Scene features Dudley Connell on guitar, Lou Reid on mandolin, Ronnie Simpkins on bass, Fred Travers on reso-guitar, and Stewart on banjo and fiddle.
Though many long-time fans think first of the 1970s editions of the band when they hear the name, many of these current members have been in the group even longer than the original guys!
Hopefully, more details about the next album will be forthcoming soon.
Ron Stewart Lands with Seldom Scene
Ron Stewart’s search for work didn’t last long after the Boxcars disbanded a few weeks back. Next Saturday, he’ll officially join the Seldom Scene at a show in Cincinnati, transferring his stout banjo and fiddle skills from one Grammy-nominated bluegrass band to another.
Stewart replaces Rickie Simpkins, who announced over the weekend that it was “time to move on to my next musical journey” after nearly two years with the Scene. The remaining members were familiar and comfortable with Stewart, who filled in for Simpkins for a few gigs in August.
“We thank Rickie for the time he spent with us, and we’re looking forward to the next chapter in the Seldom Scene with Ron Stewart,” said lead singer and guitarist Dudley Connell.
Stewart is excited about the new gig. “I’ve been a fan of the Scene since Act 1,” he said, referring to the band’s 1972 release. “And I’ve known these guys, the current lineup, forever, but this is a whole new ballgame. We’re going to have a ball.”
Simpkins, who had long stints with the Tony Rice Unit and Emmylou Harris, had big shoes to fill when he joined the band at the start of 2016. He replaced Ben Eldridge, the last original member of the group that formed in 1971 after practicing in the basement of Eldridge’s Bethesda, MD, home.
He added a new dimension to the Scene’s live shows – fiddle, switching from banjo during sets. Stewart, who has won IBMA awards for both instruments, will bring the same versatility to the band. He’s as low key and unpretentious as he is talented.
Stewart will join Connell, resophonic guitarist Fred Travers, mandolinist Lou Reid and bassist Ronnie Simpkins, Rickie’s brother. Connell, Travers and Ronnie Simpkins joined the band on the same day in 1995. Reid returned to the band in 1996, after an earlier stint, taking the place of band co-founder John Duffey.
Rickie Simpkins didn’t say what his next act will be, but he thanked “all the folks who came out in support of the music.” And, he concluded, “Stay tuned.”