There have been and are a lot of pickers, but some of them are so smooth, so sweet, and so fast that I just have to start shouting, turn it up! Tony Rice may be at the top of the heap. He has been doing it on record, since he was with Bluegrass Alliance and J.D. Crowe.
Whether he is playing straight-ahead bluegrass, new acoustic with David Grisman and all those other great musicians who created a unique genre, or spacegrass through his Tony Rice Unit, he continually displays technical mastery and infinite good taste. His singing has always been an extra treat – distinctive and soulful. In recent years, he’s had to stop singing. A loss to all of us and what must be, personally, an especially sad and frustrating thing. Despite that, there are many, many hours of recordings to hear and they will always be with us.
More Pretty Girls Than One Tony Rice/Ricky Scaggs
When that first David Grisman album came out, it played endlessly at my house. It was a sound that seemed designed to take everyone to a new place and lay the foundation for a mix of sounds and styles that could go anywhere. Later, his Tony Rice Unit records blew my mind, took over the turntable, and provided an even wider showcase for his fancy fingers.
Gasology Tony Rice Unit
Always amazing to see in person, he has inspired countless players and graced countless recordings. Keep on pickin’!