Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
No Offense to the Weavers, But "Wasn't That A Time"
Carter Monroe | Mount Olive, NC United States | 02/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was working in Washington D.C. in the summer of 1974. During the previous fall, which was the first semester of my junior year in college, I had been "seduced" by the sounds of the Stanley Brothers. A guy at UNC had played RANK STRANGER for me and I was hooked. (Gillian Welch ain't the only English major in history who freaked over the Stanleys). Immediately after that experience, I went to the local Roses Dept. Store and bought THE STANLEY SOUND AROUND THE WORLD by Ralph and the Clinch Mtn. Boys. I paid the full price for this one which was about $4.99 at the time. I also bought THE ANGELS ARE SINGING by the Stanley Bros., a Flatt & Scrugss, and a Jim and Jesse for $0.99 each.Prior to this introduction to the "true" sounds of American Folk, I had been a big fan of Bob Dylan, James Taylor, The Burritos, and The Eagles. Somehow, bluegrass seemed to fit right in. During this short term employment in DC, I had the opportunity to listen to legendary Alexandria, Va. disc jockey, Red Shipley. I believe that it was on a Saturday morning that I first heard the Seldom Scene do TRAIN LEAVES HERE THIS MORNING. It knocked me out. I was very familiar with the Eagles version and somewhat less familiar with the Dillard and Clark version, but I loved them all.I began desperately to find out who this "Seldom Scene" was. Lo and behold, they were from right there in the Washington area and played at a place called the Red Fox Inn on Thursday nights. I had a chance to see them and was immediately hooked. The first album that I bought was ACT II. I took it back to North Carolina and became a Johnny Appleseed of sorts. I converted several people to blugrass with this record. The very first weekend that I returned to N.C., I hitchhiked to Chapel Hill with my duffle bag and ACT II in hand.This original version of the SS is the best in my opinion. Eldridge, Duffy, Gray, Auldridge and Starling (still the favorite singer of my wife although I will, on occasion, argue in behalf of Otis Redding.) had everything. The voices, the harmonies, the chops, the songs, they covered the gauntlet of acoustic artistry. Subsequent versions of the band were great and I bought records as they were produced, but they never quite got to that pinnacle established by these guys.26 years later this album (now CD) continues to excite me. LAST TRAIN FROM POOR VALLEY, SMALL EXCEPTION OF ME, PARADISE, every song is great. Many people in my circle of music listener friends, prefer the more traditional sounds in both instrumentation as well as vocals. Sorry guys, this is the best bluegrass record ever made. If you're just getting interested in this kind of music, invest in this CD. If you're disappointed, send me a bill."
Second Is Best
Mr. T. | New York, NY | 03/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up in the Washington DC area and spent many Thursdays seeing the Seldom Scene at the old Birchmere in the late 1980s and early 90s. I have most of their recordings and this one is my favorite. John Duffey's lead singing on "Small Exception of Me" is fabulous, so is the Scene's treatment of Hank Williams' "House of Gold." Duffey's voice blended so well with Auldridge and Starling, and thanks to his georgeous high tenor singing, I would argue that that this album has the definitive versions of Norman Blake's "Last Train From Poor Valley," Gene Clark's Train Leaves Here This Morning," and John Prine's "Paradise." And that's no small statement since I love Blake, Clark, and Prine. I really miss John Duffey and I'm glad I will always have his music."
Too Seldom Seen and Heard
Dorothy C. Whitley | Mount Olive, North Carolina | 02/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like classic songs, beautiful harmony, masterful musicians, intelligent production, you'll want to own Seldom Scene's ACT II.This CD and each of the thirteen songs I rate 5 stars each. Each song is poignant and profound, as sung by Starling, Duffy, and company. When you've heard any of them by these fine musicians/singers, you've heard the definitive version of the song. Duffy's tenor will pierce your heart and Starling's voice can sing any song better than anyone. That dobro and mandolin are signature Seldom Scene. And the songs: "The Sweetest Gift" always brings me to tears; "Reason for Being" is the best statement of love I know; "Gardens and Memories," "Keep Me From Blowin' Away," "Small Exception of Me," and "Train Leaves Here This Morning" will touch the soul of anyone who has lived and loved and lost; "House of Gold" speaks of values convincingly. I could go on and on, but words can't convey the experience of the music.If you hear ACT II (not on computer but on a good sound system), you'll buy it (or I wouldn't want to know you)."