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Tony Rice

Tony Rice is one of bluegrass' most inventive flatpicking guitar players. Although he's displayed a mastery of the genre's traditions, Rice set the standard for more contemporary styles. A former member of the Bluegrass Alliance, the David Grisman Quintet, J.D. Crowe's New South, and the Bluegrass Album Band, Rice has continued to reflect his eclectic approach on solo recordings, two albums with flatpicking guitar ace Norman Blake, and two albums, recorded with his brothers Larry, Ron, and Wyatt, as the Rice Brothers. In 1996, Rice joined with Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, and his brother Larry to record a tradition-rooted album, Out of the Woodwork.

Raised in Southern California, Rice inherited his musical skill from his father, who played with several West Coast bluegrass bands and was heavily influenced by California-based bluegrass groups, including the Dillards and the Kentucky Colonels, which featured influential guitar picker Clarence White. Moving temporarily to Kentucky in 1970, Rice became a charter member of the Bluegrass Alliance, one of the earliest contemporary bluegrass groups. As a member of J.D. Crowe's New South in the early '70s, along with Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas, he continued to promote a new approach to the music of the hill country. After meeting imaginative mandolin player David Grisman during a jam session in 1975, Rice returned to California and helped to form the David Grisman Quintet. During the five years that he played with the group, Rice helped to lay the foundation for the "new grass" style that Grisman dubbed "Dawg Music." Leaving the Grisman Quintet, Rice formed a bluegrass supergroup, the Bluegrass Album Band, with J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, Doyle Lawson, and Todd Phillips. Although only a part-time venture, the group produced five memorable albums.

Rice's albums as a soloist and with his band, the Tony Rice Unit, have ranged from the jazz-tinged Mar West, which included bluegrass-style treatments of tunes by Miles Davis and John Coltrane, to singer/songwriter-oriented albums, including Cold on the Shoulder, Native American, and Me & My Guitar, which featured his virtuosic guitar picking and soulful vocalizing of songs by Ian Tyson, Phil Ochs, and Gordon Lightfoot. Rice released an album-length collection of Lightfoot's songs, Sings Gordon Lightfoot, in 1996. Rice continued to interpret the traditional bluegrass repertoire as well, releasing an album of old chestnuts, Plays and Sings Bluegrass, the same year. In 1997, with his brother Larry Rice, Chris Hillman, and banjoist Herb Pedersen, he founded Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pedersen, and the superstar quartet released three albums between 1997 and 2001. Rice's singing voice had been essentially silenced due to dysphonia since the early '90s, but he remained a top instrumentalist, collaborating with Peter Rowan on a pair of albums for Rounder Records, 2004's You Were There for Me and 2007's Quartet. The encouragingly titled Tony Rice Sings and Plays Bill Monroe appeared in 2011. ~ Craig Harris & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

phlybg
Primarily a Seldom Scene fan, but this guy's got it.
Pandora actually played a Tony Rice tune on my Tony Rice station. Will wonders never cease.
This man can pick!
God Bless Tony Rice!
not as good as fred rogers
dobnc60
Features of this tract is a well articulated acoustic guitar solo....actu a l l y
michaelhalst e a d 1 5
Great talent. Never herd of him until this last year. Now can't get enough. His music is very rich.
Better than jim rogers
Tony and Mark have played together (member of humanoids) :)
What talent he has Beautiful Music he makes here.
Sorry but I like Mark O'Connors version way better!!
Tony makes me glad I have ears to hear his genius..
I want to play guitar like Tony Rice!
benjd0420
GOTTA GET THE PIZZA TAPES!!!! AMAZING STUFF IF YOU LIKE TONY, DAVID AND THE MAN, MR. J. GARCIA!
I was privileged to enjoy his performance with Grisman at the Armadillo in Austin. Amazing musician.
song for a life........ . . gosh damn hes good
charlie_pist o l e 2
In my opinion Tony is the best flat picker, ever! He was far ahead of most everyone in the field prior to 1970, when I went to high school with him in Fla., he had already written Mazzanita if I'm not mistaken at 16-17 years old!
Just love Tony Rice!(and miss him singing!) Just a great guitar player, and I always love the songs he chooses for his albums.
Tony is the Man! His influence changed guitar forever!
andy3712
sounds great
ghouliegirli e
the greatest of all time...(next to clarence that is)
For myself, Tony remains the gold standard for folk/bluegra s s / new acoustic music. Unlike so many artists that have a catchy sound at first listen but then grow stale after a few listens, TR only gets better with each listening, year after year. Truly the master of taste and tone!
I agree the best
georg18
Simply the BEST!
And notice if you will, some of his own compositions tend toward the jazzier side. "Manzanita" is a great example. His approach is from the jazz perspective. As for his interpretive skills, I was fortunate to catch a show one Saturday at a festival as he and the band he was sitting in with played an amazing rendition of Miles's "All Blues" for about 20 minutes. Incredible!
john.arden
One of the best guitar players of any genre and an excellent interpreter of others' songs, particularly Gordon Lightfoot (but also James Taylor, Randy Newman, and Joni Mitchell). A performance of the Tony Rice Unit at the Old Town School of Folk Music was one of the very best concerts I've ever experienced.
Tony Rice is and will be one of the best ever the Bluegrass world will ever know. Yeah, I know there are a lot of super pickers around, but a lot try to follow his style! Simply one of the best!
quick_hendri x
Diggin' the Rice
THIS GUY IS GREAT ,NEED MORE LIKE HIM.
mnelson69
Check out the Pizza Tapes - released bootleg of jam session with Tony Rice, Jerry Garcia & David Grisman. Great stuff
TONY RICE IS VERY GOOD,SORRY HE DOESN`T SING ANY MORE,ALOT OF TALENT CUT IN HALF...
Tony Rice songs always make me wish there was a way to give two thumbs up on Pandora.
There is no music more tasteful or wonderful!
It's too bad that Tony can't sing anymore. He was a great singer!

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