The Seldom Scene

Winter bluegrass

PEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Society present new festival

Save Article Share Tweet

The PEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Society has announced the launch of the Prince Edward Island Winter Bluegrass Festival, a new bluegrass music festival to take place at The Delta in Charlottetown January 21 to 22.

Headlining the festival will be the internationally acclaimed band The Seldom Scene along with Seth Mulder and Midnight Run. Maritime and Island groups will also be featured to round out the program of this major, inaugural event.

“We are honoured to bring world class bluegrass to PEI for what we hope will be an annual winter festival attracting audiences from the Maritimes, Canada and the US,” says Shirley Jay, President ofPEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Society.

The Delta will host the main stage for the festival, as well as partner with the event to offer accommodation packages, jamming rooms, and food and beverage options for participants.

Festival Coordinators Serge Bernard and Janet McGarry are in the process of confirming the lineup for the main stage concerts.

Bernard says, “To have The Seldom Scene and Seth Mulder perform in PEI is exciting. Legendary in the bluegrass world, The Seldom Scene have performed extensively and, over 50 years, have been comprised of the top musicians in the genre. Their accolades include numerous awards in various bluegrass and cross-over genres, and a Grammy nomination. They have 20 albums to their credit, Changes being their latest release.

“Seth Mulder and Midnight Run are making a name for themselves with a traditional approach to bluegrass which has attracted a loyal following. They were the winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association [IBMA] 2020 Momentum Band of the Year.”

Seth Muldur and Midnight Run

Seth Muldur and Midnight Run

“We are also contacting some of our best Maritime groups to fill the three days with music,” says McGarry. “This festival, in true bluegrass style, will offer afternoon and evening concerts, jams and after-hours events.”

Maritime groups booked to date include Ray Legere and Acoustic Horizon (NB), Bluegrass Tradition (NS), Highway Train featuring Shane Douthwright (NB), and Janet McGarry and Wildwood (PEI).

The Seldom Scene were formed in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland and throughout their 50-year career have been leaders of the progressive bluegrass movement. The current version of the band includes Lou Reid (mandolin, vocals), Fred Travers (dobro), Dudley Connell (guitar, vocals), Ron Stewart (banjo, fiddle) and Ronnie Simpkins (bass). Ben Eldridge’s son, Chris, guitarist with the Punch Brothers, also frequently performs with the group.

Hailing from Tennessee, Seth Mulder and Midnight Run began their journey in 2015 at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg. Four like-minded musicians created a band tied to the rich traditions of bluegrass music, yet one that offers a fresh approach to that “high lonesome” sound. They are Seth Mulder (mandolin, vocals), Colton Powers (banjo, vocals), Ben Watlington (guitar, vocals), and Max Etling (bass, vocals). In 2020 they completed a new studio album, Traveling Kind, on their own label and won their first IBMA award.

From Sackville, New Brunswick, Ray Legere is a bluegrass fiddler, mandolinist, guitarist and band leader. He has been inducted into the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame. He has played and recorded with some of the best known musicians performing the bluegrass and fiddle repertoire in both the US and Canada.

For schedule, ticket and accommodation info, visit peibluegrass.ca or contact Shirley S. Jay at 566-2641 or smedleyjay@icloud.com. Watch local media for updates.