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The Retro Roots Tour: Ralph Stanley, The Seldom Scene & Jim Lauderdale

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 • 7:00 pm

Tickets: $47.50, $34.50, $27.50 and $19.50

Featuring two 2011 Grammy Award nominees for Best Bluegrass Album: Jim Lauderdale ("Reason & Rhyme") and Ralph Stanley ("A Mother's Prayer")

The legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley’s forlorn sound of remote Appalachia is the bedrock of his inimitable style. But don’t mistake an ancient voice for ancient ways. Stanley tours and performs with the vigor and elan of a rock star. Contemporary bluegrass heroes, The Seldom Scene has a reputation for challenging the bounds of Bluegrass, performing with the same fire and enthusiasm that characterized the band's early days as a progressive group that took Bluegrass music to new heights with masterful guitar, dobro, bass, and mandolin, and vocals. 5 time Grammy nominee, Jim Lauderdale joins this exceptional night of bluegrass.

Ralph Stanley

When legends come to mind there is one star that shines above them all that is none other than the legendary icon Dr. Ralph Stanley.

For over 6 decades he has become one of the most influential artists of all time. Born in 1927 in Big Spraddle VA, Ralph Stanley was the second child of Lucy Jane and Lee Stanley. In 1946 along with his older brother Carter Stanley they formed the legendary Stanley Brothers duo. The Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys became one of the most popular brother acts in Country Music history. The Stanley Brothers traveled together for 20 years recording some of the most mournful mountain songs to date.

Their catalog of songs include “Angel Band”, "Rank Strangers”, “Little Maggie” and the famed “Man Of Constant Sorrow”. Tragedy struck the Stanley Brothers on December 1st 1966 with the untimely passing of 41 year old Carter Stanley. Ralph was disheartened and discouraged with his brother's death but by faith in God and support of his family, friends and fans Ralph Stanley pressed on.

Some of Country and Bluegrass music’s biggest stars came from Ralph Stanley’s band, including Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks and the late Keith Whitley. In 1976 Ralph received a honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. In 1984 Recipient of the “National Heritage Award” given by President Ronald Reagan. In 1992 Ralph was inducted into the” International Bluegrass Music Hall Of Honor”. In 2000 he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

In 2002 Ralph Stanley received his first ever Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance of the haunting rendition of “Oh Death” that was featured in the movie and soundtrack of “O Brother Where Art Thou”. In 2006 He received the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress and National medal of arts given by President George W. Bush.

Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys are still touring a 100 plus dates per year, and enjoying his time at home with his lovely wife “Jimmi” of nearly 50 years. Dr. Ralph Stanley is not only an American treasure but and international Icon.

One of the founding members, banjo player BEN ELDRIDGE, has been with The Seldom Scene since its inception, November 2, 1971, and he still performs with the same fire and enthusiasm that characterized the band's early days as a progressive group that took Bluegrass music to new heights. Ben is also well loved for his scat singing on fan favorite, "Lay Down Sally".

The Seldom Scene

The Seldom Scene

DUDLEY CONNELL plays a masterful guitar and provides powerful lead vocals for The Scene, which has a reputation for challenging the bounds of Bluegrass; and Connell's musical virtuosity has pushed the group beyond these bounds. Audiences delight in Connell's renditions of traditional songs like "Old Train", folk ballads such as "Blue Diamond Mine", and blues songs like "Rollin' and Tumblin'". Connell is a former member of The Johnson Mountain Boys.

Playing dobro for The Scene is one of the most respected dobro players on the bluegrass circuit today, FRED TRAVERS. He is also an accomplished vocalist who brings solid lead and harmony to The Scene. Travers is a former member of the Gary Ferguson Band and the Paul Adkins Band. Fred is beloved for his tender vocals on Seldom Scene favorite's Walk Through This World With Me, and From This Moment On.

RONNIE SIMPKINS plays rock-steady bass for the group and provides the bass vocals in The Scene's quartets as well. Simpkins has been performing Bluegrass music since childhood and is a former member of The Tony Rice Unit. LOU REID, who plays mandolin for The Scene and provides the tenor vocals, is also a former member of Ricky Skaggs Band, Quicksilver, and he currently fronts his own group Carolina. On lead, or when providing harmony, Reid's vocals are the epitome of the powerful, "high, lonesome" tenor that is the signature of Bluegrass music.

JOHN DUFFEY, former bandleader and beloved character, John passed away December 10, 1996. He was, to many, the greatest tenor voice ever in bluegrass music.

Jim Lauderdale

Jim Lauderdale

Jim Lauderdale is a multi-talented performer and songwriter, with successes in both country and bluegrass music. His roots stem from the Carolinas, yet his career has taken him all over the United States and abroad, making him an international recording artist with an ever-growing fan base. Jim won "Artist of the Year" and "Song of the Year" at the first "Honors and Awards Show" held by the Americana Music Association in 2002. Subsequently, he has hosted this same show for the last seven years.

He is among Nashville's "A" list of songwriters, with songs recorded by artists such as: Patty Loveless, George Jones, The Dixie Chicks, Solomon Burke, Mark Chesnutt, Dave Edmunds, John Mayall, Kathy Mattea, Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Blake Shelton. Vince Gill, and George Strait. He also contributed several songs to the successful soundtrack of the George Strait film, "Pure Country." Not content to just write hits for the stars, he's toured with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello, among others.

Jim's musical influences include the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones. These influences and his unique sense of melody and lyric help forge a sound that is truly his own. He is a 2 time Grammy winner, winning his first in 2002 with Dr. Ralph Stanley for "Lost in the Lonesome Pines" (Dualtone). His next one came for his second "solo" bluegrass album, "The Bluegrass Diaries" (Yep Roc 2007) at the 50th Grammy Awards! His first CD with Dr. Stanley, "I Feel Like Singing Today" ( Dualtone/Rebel 1999) received a Grammy nomination as did his first solo bluegrass CD titled "Bluegrass"(Yep Roc) from 2006. His current release, "Patchwork River" (his second collaboration with Grateful Dead lyricist, Robert Hunter) is currently on the Americana radio charts.

As a performer his credits include production, writing and collaborating on albums such as, "Wait 'Til Spring" (SkyCrunch/Dualtone 2003) with Donna the Buffalo, and "Headed for the Hills" (Dualtone 2004) his first total project with Robert Hunter. The remainder of Jim's 18 albums include: "Planet of Love" (Reprise 1991), "Pretty Close to the Truth" (Atlantic 1994), "Every Second Counts" (Atlantic 1995), "Persimmons" (Upstart 1998), "Whisper" (BNA 1998), "Onward Through It All" (RCA 1999), "The Other Sessions" (Dualtone 2001), "The Hummingbirds" (Dualtone 2002), "Bluegrass" (Yep Roc 2006), "Country Super Hits, Volume 1" (Yep Roc 2006), "Honey Songs" (Yep Roc 2008), "Could We Get Any Closer?" (SkyCrunch 2009) and "Patchwork River" (Thirty Tigers 2010).

"It's been a particularly great period for me," says Lauderdale. "Thanks to the records - I'm performing more and more, which I love. And I love that I can play the Opry one weekend, a jam-band festival the next and then a bluegrass festival the following week. That's really inspiring to me and I think there's a real thread there. The roots are the same for all of them and that's the music I'm interested in."

Ralph Stanley