A multi-talented musician, as well as a key folk music archivist and scholar, Mike Seeger died at his Lexington, Va. home at the age of 75 on Friday, August 7. He died of an aggressive form of cancer known as multiple myeloma.
He was the half-brother of folk legend Pete Seeger, but Mike Seeger carved out his own place in the world of folk music in 1958 when he and his friends John Cohen and Tom Paley formed the New Lost City Ramblers.
The Ramblers’ three-CD box set, “50 Years: Where Do You Come From? Where Do You Go?,” is slated for release on Tuesday, August 25 on the Smithsonian Folkways label. The set will feature a half dozen previously unreleased tracks.
Seeger’s recording career spanned a half century, not only as a musician, but also as a producer and engineer who recorded the likes of Dock Boggs, the Country Gentlemen and Sam McGee. He recorded and produced “American Banjo: Three-Finger and Scruggs Style,” in 1957, the first long-playing bluegrass album ever released.
More recently, he played autoharp on the multi-Grammy Award-winning Robert Plant-Alison Krauss album, “Raising Sand.” And he was scheduled to perform at Maverick Concerts in Woodstock on Saturday, July 25, until his illness made it impossible to travel and he was forced to cancel his appearance.