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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:35 PM

Mike Auldridge, founding member of D.C.’s Seldom Scene bluegrass group, dies at 73

Last edited Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:21 AM - Edit history (1)

Source: Washington Post

By Terence McArdle, Dec 31, 2012 01:49 AM EST

The Washington Post Published: December 30

Mike Auldridge, a bluegrass musician whose broad knowledge of many musical forms helped redefine and modernize the steel guitar known as the Dobro, died Dec. 29 at his home in Silver Spring. He died a day before his 74th birthday. He had prostate cancer, said a daughter, Michele Auldridge.

Mr. Auldridge was a founding member of the Washington-based bluegrass group the Seldom Scene and, in a career spanning six decades, he recorded with Linda Ronstadt, Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris, among others.
....

As teenagers, Mr. Auldridge and his older brother Dave,now deceased, a guitarist and mandolist, formed a bluegrass group, the South Mountain Boys, and performed on the Washington area radio station WDON in the mid-1950s. Michael Auldridge first recorded in 1969 with the group Emerson and Waldron and the New Shades of Grass.
....

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Elise Fox Auldridge of Silver Spring; two daughters, Michele Auldridge of Madison, Wis., and Laura Auldridge of Malibu, Calif.; two brothers, Gene Auldridge of South Carolina and steel guitarist Thomas Auldridge of Wheaton; and one granddaughter.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/mike-auldridge-founding-member-of-dcs-seldom-scene-bluegrass-group-dies-at-73/2012/12/30/2d43b998-5289-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html



The Seldom Scene will be performing tonight at the Birchmere, as it does every New Year's Eve.

Here's a video chosen at random, Bluegrass Boogie:



One more, Sweet Georgia Brown, that has to be heard to be believed:



Dobro Innovator Mike Auldridge Dead at 73

RIP Mike Auldridge

RIP Mike Auldridge
David Morris | December 29, 2012

....
Mike’s work with the Scene was a centerpiece of his accomplishment, but there was much, much more. He delivered nine solo albums, toured and recorded with Darren Beachley and Legends of the Potomac and was a first-call picker for Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, among many others.

He could have done much more, but decided against a move to Nashville in the early 1970s and stayed in the Washington, DC, area. He never looked back on what might have been. “Who knows?” he told The Washington Post with his trademark humor a few years ago. “Had we moved to Nashville, I might have wound up playing steel guitar in a band and dying in a plane crash.” There was some irony in that statement, too. Mike hated to fly.

Mike started to play at 13, influenced by Josh Graves. He won a Grammy, played in a band that is in the International Bluegrass Music Association’s hall of fame, received a lifetime achievement award from IBMA and was honored earlier this year with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Here's the appreciation from the Post's Style section:

Mike Auldridge: A Dobro master’s resonant work
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/mike-auldridge-a-dobro-masters-resonant-work/2012/12/30/c2812474-52c9-11e2-a613-ec8d394535c6_story.html

By Eric Brace, Dec 31, 2012 01:38 AM EST
The Washington Post

Flashback:

A 16-year-old kid sits at a table by the back wall of the Birchmere, the original one on Four Mile Run, tucked between body shops and transmission joints. It’s 1976 and it’s a Thursday night. One of many on which this teenager somehow persuaded his parents to give him the car so he could cross the Potomac to go see his favorite band. The low ceilings amplify the clatter of plates of burgers and pitchers of beer. The lights go down and the chattery hubbub turns into whistles and cheers. “Ladies and gentlemen, the Seldom Scene!”

And there they are, striding to the stage — John Duffey, Ben Eldridge, Tom Gray, John Starling. And finally, taking the far right side of the stage with his Dobro, Mike Auldridge, a Kensington native who died of cancer Saturday at age 73. He holds the Dobro tight to his chest as he steps to the mike and sings with Duffey and Starling in perfect three-part harmony. “Way down in the Blue Ridge Mountains / way down where the tall pines grow / lives my sweetheart of the mountains / she’s my little Georgia rose.” No instruments yet, as their voices wrap up the word “rose,” putting a little bend in the middle of its one syllable. Then holy bluegrass hell breaks loose as Eldridge uncorks his banjo, Gray slaps his upright bass, Starling swipes his flatpick across his old Martin guitar, Duffey squeezes sparks from his mandolin (teeny in his thick-armed embrace) and Auldridge holds his Dobro resophonic guitar horizontally now, across his waist, running the steel bar up and down the neck with his left hand, picking at the strings with the fingers and thumb of his right. It’s a glorious sound, and the kid doesn’t know it at the time but it’s a sound that’s changing the world of bluegrass. All he knows is that it’s changing him, making him want to be up on that stage, singing those harmonies, playing those instruments. Most of all he wants to be Mike Auldridge, with the long angled sideburns, the pressed jeans (creased down the middle, please) overpolished slant-heeled boots, the easy Paul Newman smile, the Steve McQueen cool.
....

As the cancer spread, Mike talked about the frustration he felt as it became harder to do things he’d always done. In one of his last performances, earlier this year with Vince Gill at the Birchmere, Mike asked Gill if it would be okay to sit while he played. Gill called for six more stools onstage so the whole band could sit down that night. Although his body was giving out, Mike kept living life in a big way. He was ecstatic about traveling to see his first grandchild in September. That same month he finished a resophonic guitar summit album with Douglas and Rob Ickes. He was humble in October upon receiving the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship grant, but happy while playing at the awards ceremony concert.

When I wrote to ask him to join me in the recording studio earlier this year, he wrote back describing his radiation treatments, his chest pain and his general fatigue. Then: “But I’m not complaining. I can still pick and still have the passion light on ‘high’ so all is (almost) well. Let’s do it. Tell me where and when.”

11 replies, 2456 views

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Reply Mike Auldridge, founding member of D.C.’s Seldom Scene bluegrass group, dies at 73 (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2012 OP
Hoyt Dec 2012 #1
Kingofalldems Dec 2012 #2
riqster Dec 2012 #3
DreamGypsy Dec 2012 #4
DollarBillHines Dec 2012 #6
Historic NY Dec 2012 #5
hack89 Dec 2012 #7
madfloridian Dec 2012 #8
jerseyjack Dec 2012 #9
BeHereNow Dec 2012 #10
BeHereNow Dec 2012 #11

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:40 PM

1. Sorry to hear that. A real master/legend of the resonator guitar.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:53 PM

2. I got to see them a couple times back in the 70's

RIP

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:54 PM

3. That sucks

May he lead angels in a hoedown.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:07 PM

4. We knew you Rider...

...gonna miss you now you're gone.



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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 03:40 PM

6. I have a 1910 sqaure neck National

Nickel-plated (neck, too). It looks brand new and sings like some old angel.

I know what I'll be playing tonight.

Funny, "Rider" was the first thing that leaped into my head when I heard of Mike's passing. He was one-of-a-kind. I stole a lot of licks from him.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:18 PM

5. I remember first hearing them in the 1982

They moved the BG Festival from New England to Cooperstown NY. I was one of about a dozen of the LE security hired on. I awoke to a massive hangover with Seldom Scene playing the Gospel Hour on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful natural amphitheater site.

Our biggest problem was quieting the camps so people could sleep. The performers and their staff got us well lubricated on shine. We all had a good time, sadly it never came back.

http://thedailystar.com/columns/x9839522/Bluegrass-played-first-fiddle-during-1982-festival-near-Cooperstown/print

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 03:49 PM

7. I saw them in a small club in 1988 - what an experience!

RIP Mike.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:25 PM

9. And Don't Forget John Duffy

 

One of my favorite memories was on an April morning in the '70's, riding across the Blue Ridge Mountains. Dad and I in the camper. It was a crisp, sunny morning with an occasional wisp of smoke coming out of chimneys from the cabins in the hollows.

Playing Old Train on the cassette.

It never got better than that.

RIP

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:49 PM

10. Doesn't get much better than "Old Train" unless we are talking...

"Wait a Minute..."
I had the honor of playing with Roland White and Herb Pederson last summer
at the memorial for Eric White.

&feature=player_embedded#!

The music lives on long after it is made.
One of my reasons for living.

BHN

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Response to BeHereNow (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:16 PM

11. Even BETTER clip of "Wait a Minute" featuring Mike...

Lot of close ups of the neck.
&playnext=1&list=AL94UKMTqg-9DdcUKR53ouqgWEZyLruxRS

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