Dobro Master Mike Auldridge Dies at 73

Bluegrass Musician Was Founder of the Seldom Scene

Mike Auldridge, a Dobro master and founding member of the bluegrass group Seldom Scene , died from cancer Saturday (Dec. 29) at a hospice near his home in Silver Springs, Md. His death came one day short of his 74th birthday.

Starting as a guitar player, Auldridge switched to the resophonic guitar — or Dobro — when he was 17. In 1971, he joined banjoist Ben Eldridge, guitarist and vocalist John Starling and bassist Tom Gray to form the Seldom Scene, a band that stretched the boundaries of bluegrass music into the folk, rock and jazz idioms. He remained with the Seldom Scene until the mid-1990s and subsequently formed the group Chesapeake.

Influenced by Josh Graves, the Dobroist for Flatt & Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys, Auldridge in turn became a music role model for the inventive and award-winning Dobroists Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. His work earned him a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship earlier this year.

Shortly before his death, Auldridge completed an album with Douglas and Ickes that is scheduled for release in 2013.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to