Tony Rice, Pioneering Bluegrass Guitarist, Dies Aged 69

Bluegrass guitarist Tony Rice, greatly regarded as a single of the all-time greats of the genre and a 2013 inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Affiliation Corridor of Fame has died aged 69. The musician handed abruptly on December 25, in accordance to his previous label, Rounder Records.

“It is with a hefty coronary heart we say goodbye to a single of the most iconic voices and musicians in bluegrass,” the Worldwide Bluegrass Affiliation claimed in saying the death. “David Anthony ‘Tony’ Rice handed absent yesterday, Dec. 25, at his household in Reidsville, NC. Couple of will at any time match his talent and influence.”

Rice was greatly celebrated for his skill as a flatpicker, a fast-paced design of guitar participating in, as properly as his very influential type which was by itself indebted to jazz.

Rice grew up in California right before shifting to Kentucky. He joined Ricky Skaggs in the New South, Rice was a member of J.D. Crowe’s New South in the early ’70s. His later on outfits included the David Grisman Band, the Bluegrass Album Band (which incorporated Doyle Lawson), the Tony Rice Unit (which for a time bundled Alison Krauss as a member) and Rice, Hillman & Pedersen (with brother Larry Rice, ex-Byrd Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen). He was also noted for his work with Bela Fleck and The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia.

Rice was diagnosed with dysphonia in 1994, which prevented him from singing for most of the rest of his lifestyle. The musician made his previous ever public guitar performance at the 2013 International Bluegrass Songs Association’s Corridor of Fame.

Tributes have poured in from a quantity of main names who have been influenced by Rice’s enjoying, together with Steve Martin, Jason Isbell and Ricky Skaggs.

“Aw, Tony Rice,” Martin wrote in reaction to the news, also tweeting to share just one of his favourite Rice performances. “A name I’ve known my whole lifetime. A good musician.”

Isbell termed him “the king of the flatpicked flattop guitar,” incorporating: “His affect can’t possibly be overstated. If you aren’t common with his songs, please look it up. I really don’t know if a individual can make just about anything a lot more beautiful. #RIPTonyRice”

Tony Rice was “the one most influential acoustic guitar participant in the past 50 a long time,” claimed Ricky Skaggs, who performed together with Rice in the group the New South in the 1970s and later rejoined him for a vintage duets album, Skaggs/Rice. “Not only was Tony a fantastic guitar player,” Skaggs included, but he was also a person of the most stylistic lead vocalists in bluegrass new music history.”

Accolades for Rice arrived from outdoors the style as properly, with nation celebrity Kenny Chesney telling how he grew to become a enormous lover when attending Japanese Tennessee Point out, exactly where he played in a collegiate bluegrass band.

“When I was in higher education, I performed a large amount of tunes with a few friends of mine, Shawn Lane and Marcus Smith,” reported Chesney. “Every Wednesday evening we performed a put named the Down Home in Johnson Metropolis, Tennessee. Whether or not it was “Green Light on the Southern,” which was the initial tune we ever performed, “Four Strong Winds” or something off the Skaggs/Rice album, his new music was always a staple of our established.

“Tony Rice motivated so lots of, like a kid like me from East Tennessee who was in awe of the way he sang and performed “Me And My Guitar.” I’ll never ever overlook seeing him sing that at the IBMA Bluegrass Competition in Owensboro, Ky. It’s printed on my mind without end. Relaxation in peace, Tony Rice.”

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