Monday, December 11, 2006

The Scene & Amy Gallatin in East Hartford...

Amid the hustle and bustle that is the month of December, the Podunk Bluegrass Committee sponsored a terrific show last Friday, December 8th at the Community Cultural Center in East Hartford. First to take the stage was Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, featuring Roger Williams on the dobro, John Urbanik on the bass, and special guest, Dave Dick, on the mandolin and banjo. This was a fine-sounding configuration, for sure, and they received a very nice response from those in attendance.

After a fine set from Amy & Co. and an intermission break, the Seldom Scene came on for one energetic (and fairly lengthy) set. Without the larger-than-life presence of John Duffey, it's almost difficult to call this band the Seldom Scene, but that is not to discredit this fine group in any way, shape, or form. All of these guys, including original Scene-r Ben Eldridge, worked with Duffey long enough to learn a few of his showmanship "tricks," and they did not disappoint at all. While Dudley Connell joked that the audience must have "all come in one car," really, the crowd wasn't terribly small. It's always fun to see Dudley and Lou Reid sing together, and Fred Travers has to be one of the most under-rated tenors in bluegrass. Their trios are terrific, and when Ronnie Simpkins adds a bass vocal to the mix....I can't think of too many quartets in bluegrass who are better today. If you missed the East Hartford show, perhaps you got a chance to catch the Scene in their BBU show at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA on Saturday night. From what I understand, that 400-seat theater was nearly sold out, so I guess it's safe to say that folks in the northeast definitely are fond of the Seldom Scene.

There will be more bluegrass at the EHCCC in the new year, too: a sort of progressive group called Cadillac Sky is playing there on Friday, January 12th and ultra-traditional Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass takes the EHCCC stage on Saturday, February 3rd. If you'd like more information on either of these shows, visit the EHCCC website.


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