Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pickin' Videos: Wait A Minute

For this edition of Pickin' Videos, where I like to showcase my favorite bluegrass clips found online, I've selected the Seldom Scene performing 'Wait A Minute' on the Tommy Hunter Show, taped for the Canadian Broadcast Company. The Seldom Scene formed in 1971 in Bethesda, MD, in the basement of banjo player Ben Eldridge. They went on to become world famous in the bluegrass community and have undoubtedly influenced many bluegrass groups that came after them. Listening to this clip and others by the band, you will hear modern bluegrass heavyweights Alison Krauss and Union Station, Newgrass Revival, and Old Crowe Medicine Show. Eldridge still performs in the band today, 39 years after their formation in his basement.

Living not too far from Bethesda and The Birchmere music venue in Alexandria, VA, their home base for many years, I have been able to find a number of their records at my local vinyl shop, and they sound amazing on the record player.

Next month, at the aforementioned Birchmere, founding Seldom Scene member John Starling will be performing with Union Station's Dan Tyminski and his son Jay Starling. Coincidentally Jay Starling performed at The Birchmere just two nights ago as a member of Keller Williams' band The Added Bonus.

This clip of 'Wait A Minute' epitomizes not only what I love about the best bluegrass music, but more generally what I love about all music. You get the purity of acoustic instrumentation, a high level of musicianship, and perfectly blended vocal harmonies. You also get a glimpse into the band's sense of humor following their performance.

Additional Seldom Scene clips worth checking out:

The band performs JJ Cale's After Midnight

A short oral history of The Seldom Scene as told by Ben Eldridge

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