See the Sel­dom Scene Satur­day in Pel­ham

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - MUSIC - BY BARRY COURTER STAFF WRITER Con­tact Barry Courter at bcourter@times­free or 423-757-6354.

When Dudley Con­nell joined Sel­dom Scene in 1995, the group al­ready had a 24-year his­tory, so that band had been there and done that. But for Con­nell, the cur­rent it­er­a­tion is a lit­tle spe­cial.

“To be hon­est, I am hav­ing more fun in this band than I’ve ever had. I think hav­ing Ron Ste­wart on banjo and fid­dle is part of that. He’s young, or youngish in his 50s, but he has lit a fire in all of us.

“Let me just say that the band that is com­ing to The Cav­erns is re­ally, re­ally good.”

Sel­dom Scene will per­form for Blue­grass Un­der­ground, the subter­ranean con­cert se­ries held in The Cav­erns near Pel­ham, Ten­nes­see, on Satur­day, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m.

Con­nell says part of the rea­son for his ex­cite­ment is a new record the band is work­ing on. It is their first al­bum on Rounder Records and should be out in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary. It will fea­ture 14 clas­sic singer-song­writer songs from peo­ple like Joanie Mitchell and Bob Dy­lan.

“When I look back at what they did in the ’60s and ’70s, it was so thought­ful and deep, and you re­al­ize they were just kids. It’s amaz­ing.

“I’m real proud of this record. It might be the best thing I’ve been a part of.”

Fans at the show will likely hear some of those songs and also some clas­sic Sel­dom Scene ma­te­rial such as “From This Mo­ment On” and “Wait a Minute.” But Con­nell says there is never a set list.

“With 40 years of ma­te­rial, the hard part for us is fig­ur­ing what to leave out.”

He says that when he joined the band, he was told only that it should be good, and it should be fun.

“I was never told any- thing spe­cific and there was never any­thing writ­ten down on a piece of pa­per. It’s just a feel­ing you get when you go out on­stage and what­ever hap­pens hap­pens. Some shows are bet­ter than oth­ers be­cause of that.

“There is no schtick. Ev­ery show is unique. We’ll chat with the au­di­ence. It’s not a per­for­mance per se; it’s more of a com­mu­nity ef­fort. We take our mu­sic very se­ri­ously, and for­tu­nately, we don’t take our­selves too se­ri­ously. If we crash and burn, so be it.”


The Sel­dom Scene, fea­tur­ing Fred Travers, Lou Reid, Ron­nie Simp­kins, Dudley Con­nell and Ron Ste­wart, will play Blue­grass Un­der­ground in The Cav­erns near Pel­ham, Ten­nes­see, this week­end.

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