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After Midnight
Seldom Scene

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About the video

John Duffey, Ben Eldridge, Mike Auldridge, Phil Rosenthal, & Tom Gray  
performing "After Midnight"

About the artists

"We try to find material that's a little bit different, and approach the music in a
little bit broader way than most bluegrass bands do," said the Seldom Scene's
Dudley Connell to the Baltimore Sun in 1998. Since its inception in 1971, the
Seldom Scene has 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 Scene has become one of the most influential -- if not the
most influential -- bluegrass band of their time.

In 1971, mandolinist John Duffey, banjo player Ben Eldridge, guitarist John
Starling, bassist Tom Gray, and Dobro player Mike Auldridge formed the Seldom
Scene. The band derived its name from its once a week performances, first at
the Red Fox Inn in Bethesda, MD, and later at the Birchmere Restaurant in
Alexandria, VA. Early albums like 1973's Act 1 and 1975's Live at the Cellar Door
set the pace for progressive bluegrass while defining a unique sound that
included Starling's smooth vocals, Duffey's versatile tenor, and Auldridge's
ringing Dobro. The band's smooth harmonies, love of eclectic material, and
Duffey's colorful stage antics further separated the band from its peers. In 1977,
Starling left the group to return to his medical practice and was replaced by
vocalist Phil Rosenthal.

The addition of Rosenthal and a change of labels to Sugar Hill did little to alter
the Seldom Scene's basic sound. 1978's Act Four and 1981's After Midnight
continued to draw material from traditional sources like Jimmie Rodgers and
contemporary ones like Eric Clapton. The later album included both "Lay Down
Sally" and concert favorite "After Midnight." When performing live, the group
enjoyed stretching out songs like "After Midnight," allowing Duffey and Auldridge
to take extended solos that sounded closer to jazz than bluegrass. In 1986, after
making five albums with the Seldom Scene, Rosenthal departed and was
replaced by Lou Reid. Original bass player Gray also left, making room for T.
Michael Coleman.

With the addition of two new bandmembers, the Seldom Scene recorded the
appropriately titled Change of Scenery in 1988. Some fans objected to
Coleman's electric bass, but despite this "progressive" change, albums like
1990's Scenic Roots proved to be more traditional than earlier efforts. The band
also had a talent for turning pop songs like the Beatles' "What Goes On" into
standard bluegrass material. In 1993 Reid left the band and was replaced with
ex-member John Starling. Although Starling remained with the band for only a
year, his return proved a real treat to fans of early-'70s lineup as did the Seldom
Scene's 1994 recording Like We Used to Be.  ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All
Music Guide