The Seldom Scene

15th Anniversary Celebration

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AllMusic Review by

This all-star tribute to America's finest progressive bluegrass band took place at the Kennedy Center in November of 1986, and featured performances by artists as prominent as Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt and as influential as Charlie Waller, Ricky Skaggs, and Tony Rice. The program is a delight from beginning to end, and includes the band's own renditions of classic material ("Workin' on a Building," "Rose of Old Kentucky") as well as a number of tribute performances by the guest artists. Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White deliver a gorgeous duet version of Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You," while Harris and Ronstadt team up on "The Sweetest Gift." Original lead singer John Starling joins the Scene on several songs, and the resulting sound will make longstanding fans of the band wistful for the old days; though mandolinist and tenor singer John Duffey is beginning to sound his age at this point, the old magic is still there on "You Don't Know My Mind" and "Rose of Old Kentucky." The band's rollicking rendition of the traditional gospel classic "Take Me in Your Lifeboat" is the perfect finale.

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