Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rest In Peace: Mike Auldridge, bluegrass musician

Bluegrass music fans in Rolla and throughout the Ozarks will be saddened to hear of the death of  Mike Auldridge, Dobro player and a founding member of the Seldom Scene.
His is a well-known name to bluegrass radio listeners in Rolla, particularly those who listen to Wayne Bledsoe's programs on KMST FM 88.5 or at www.kmst.org.
Here's a portion of his obituary in The Tennessean, a Nashville newspaper:
Before Mr. Auldridge, the Dobro — an acoustic resonator guitar played with a slide — was often considered an inelegant instrument, imprecise in intonation and uneven in tone. He often played in silvered whispers rather than in the Mike_Auldridgerambunctious clatter that characterized early Dobro recordings. He expanded the Dobro’s vocabulary, extended its reach and inspired each of the instrument’s modern greats, including Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. He was a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, in recognition of his contributions to musical culture.
“If it wasn’t for him, none of us would be here,” Douglas said. “Mike made it acceptable to play the instrument, and hearing him was where I got the idea that I could play different kinds of music, beyond country. He was a guy who could play one note that was worth a thousand. He’s my hero.”

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