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The Tony Rice Unit

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

Comments

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The combinations of cross-pickin g and some of the triplets he manages to incorporate into his picking to not only get that syncopation but his signature that is on every time that comes off of that Ol' Clarence White Martin Box. Truly amazing!!!!! !
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Detect some Merlou Ponty ... jazziness
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Oh... such HAPPY Picking!
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waynebonner4
Tony Rice lost his voice, then arthritis messed up his hand so much he can't hold a pick. I've been stealing this man's music for over 20 years. When the opportunity came to pay him back, I do every month through a foundation set up by his friends. See Bluegrasstod a y . c o m / t i m e - t o - g i v e - b a c k - t o - t o n y - r i c e 12/6/13.
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I want that old train
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Tony Rice is the real deal!
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Gold Rush..... it's GOLD in my opinion. What a great Artist.
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Richard is right GREAT FINGERING
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Every time I hear him he is always doing some great fingering, fast.
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I totally agree thats some great pickin, scwbj ! :o))
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scwbj
One of the greatest flat-pickers ever and a legendary singing voice!
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Rice is the finger-picki n g &plucking country B O Y O !
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colonialinn1 4 8 9 1
This BLOWS me away...incre d i b l e ! ! ! Love it...makes me feel great just listening to it.
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jchs_344
Awesome picking by Tony!!! Make me feel sway whenever I listen to this.
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Come on man-Great.
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this is geart
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Love this!!!!! The Jerusalem piece is my favorite
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ptarmigin
Wow
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jhspv
All well said. The ultimate in tasteful, harmonic & melodic composition and technical acoustic playing of any genre and era. Miss Tony’s great vocals. One of a kind. Fan of Tony, Hillman, Pederson, Grisman etc since a kid in Orange County. Picked up Wyatt's 1989 Market Gap (Rounder) many years ago. One of my favorite flat pick albums ever. Clean, precise, consistent and heartfelt as one would expect with the great support lineup. It’s a pity time passes with such talent of all the brothers. T
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I love you Tony Rice.
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Tony, Larry, Wyatt, Ron Rice make up the Rice Brothers Bluegrass Band; Rice family access, etc. with which I've been entrusted. I created this Pandora-Tony Rice Unit radio station to honor the memory of Larry Rice <5-13-2006>. Enjoy Rowan & Rice, Grisman & T., Blake & Rice, Reno & Rice, Skaggs & Rice, Bluegrass Album Band, others. Bookmark addy: http://www.P a n d o r a . c o m / a l w a y s l 8 t e . Thankx 'n'enjoy.
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95288800
This artist truly speaks to my soul...class i c a l l y - S p a n i s h and nouveau Bluegrass..
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allengk
He makes it look easy, but we all know, the way he picks ain't easy! He is a master guitar player.
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I love this guy ,let's all hope he can keep playing for more years to come!
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A living legend in bluegrass music. Quite possibly the best acoustic guitarist that will ever live.
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rwf1954
I saw Tony the first time in a very small venue in Sonoma Co, Ca right after David Grisman formed the quintet. I was able to stand about 10 feet in front of Tony and that wonderful old Martin and my musical life was never the same afterwards.
Report as inappropriate
There is no better guitarist on the planet. Tony's tone and exceptional skill while flatpicking the best Bluegrass solo you have ever heard to his addition to the Dawg genre and his own Spacegrass are not lost on any true music lovers. Simply, there is none better - and Wyatt is right there,too
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90667347
Tony rocks my world always :)
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Tony Rice is incredible. He is THE ultimate flatpicker.

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