The Scene began as a non-touring bluegrass band back in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland. The basement jam sessions at the home of Ben Eldridge started the whole thing. Who would have thought that 40 years later, this band would have become one of the single largest contributers to the progression of bluegrass from the early days of Flatt and Scruggs and Bill Monroe to the more contemporary sounds that they founded. Bluegrass reached a second peak in popularity in the early 1970s, and the progressive bluegrass style played by The Seldom Scene was particularly popular. Original Seldom Scene mandolin player John Duffey's stratospheric tenor anchored the group, but the vocal blend of The Scene set a new standard that attracted new audiences to what had been a niche music. Their weekly shows included bluegrass versions of country music, rock, and even classical pop. The band's popularity soon forced them to play more than once a week—but they continued to maintain their image as being seldom seen, and on several of their early album covers were photographed with the stage lights on only their feet, or with their backs to the camera.
Seldom Scene continues to excel in the bluegrass scene and has received critical acclaim for their work. Their latest CD, Scenechronized, recorded in 2007, was nominated for a Grammy award.
The Seldom Scene has performed at the White House many times, and continues to tour the world, garnering the monikor: "America's Bluegrass Band".
The band consists of Dudley Connell (guitar/lead and baritone vocals), Ben Eldridge (banjo and scatt singing), Lou Reid (mandolin/lead and tenor vocals), Fred Travers (dobro/lead and tenor vocals), and Ronnie Simpkins (bass/baritone vocals).