We have just learned that pioneer Dobro player Mike Auldridge passed away this week. Mike Auldridge was an integral part of and co-founder to the Washington DC based band Seldom Scene. Mike passed away just one day prior to his 74th birthday after loosing his battle with cancer.
The Seldom Scene were a regular feature at the Birchmere Cafe every Thursday night.
It’s always a shock especially when you lose a friend. In the business, he’ll always be the king, the man. He was the Clint Eastwood of bluegrass music – Gary Oelze, Birchmere owner.
Mike had recently finished recording a new album due out in early 2013. In 2012 Mike was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts’ highest honor, the National Heritage Fellowship.
In 2007, the International Bluegrass Music Association presented Mike with its prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award. The following comments come from their website:
The bluegrass world was saddened to hear of the passing of legendary Dobro artist Mike Auldridge on December 29, 2012, Called by the Washington Post “one of maybe a handful of truly innovative Dobro players in the history of country and bluegrass music,” Mike Auldridge’s modern approach to the Dobro played an integral role in the development of contemporary bluegrass and country music.
The world is a lesser place, to me, at least, with the passing of the Master of the Dobro, Mike showed us all how it could be done and only a few can do it as well. The Seldom Scene are to me, what typifies the ultimate in modern Bluegrass and sadly very little of their performances went to video. We who remain are lesser for our lack of support for the role of preserving the Heritage of the Music and allowing this superb group to leave this existence without capturing all the magic of this band. Let us hope and pray that somewhere, stored away are enough film segments to produce a video to allow future generations to share the experience we have been blessed with. Along with John Duffy, some of the lineup of the Seldom Scene now joins the other greats who have taken the music to another dimension. We are in times when all the great performers will pass and I am somewhat numbed by the loss of what I held dear.
When I discovered the Seldom Scene, I knew there was nowhere else to go, their magic touched my very soul. I know all the songs, I know the record covers, I have them all.
Their music will live in my mind all my days in this existence and Mike Auldridge you were a essential part of the making of the magic, known as the Seldom Scene.