Tony Rice, 8 June 1951-25 December 2020 (updates)

Thanks to Tim Rogers of Westport for sending the sad news of the death on Christmas day of David Anthony ‘Tony’ Rice. His music dominates modern bluegrass guitar, with an influence felt throughout acoustic string playing.

A biographical article up to his 2013 induction into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame can be read here. More details are given by John Lawless on Bluegrass Today, together with three videos showing Tony with J.D. Crowe & the New South in 1975; leading an array of superpickers in the ’80s; and playing and singing solo one of his trademark pieces, the Norman Blake composition ‘Chirch Street blues’.

His authorised biography Still inside: the Tony Rice story, written by Tim Stafford and Caroline Wright, was published in 2010 by Word of Mouth Press.

Update 28 Dec.: David Morris‘s own appreciation of Tony Rice, together with a compilation of tributes from his peers in bluegrass and country music, can be read here. And Jason Verlinde, editor of the Fretboard Journal, writes a major retrospective memoir of Tony Rice, with several videos, which can be read here. It complements Art Dudley‘s 2005 FJ article on Tony’s unique D-28. Verlinde concludes with:

As long as acoustic music is played, Rice will continue to pull us forward. I don’t think we’ll ever catch up to him.

Update 29 Dec.: Stacy Chandler‘s article ‘Iconic bluegrass guitarist Tony Rice dies at age 69’ appeared on No Depression on St Stephen’s day. It includes an account of Tony Rice’s induction into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, together with a video of his full acceptance speech, during which the ‘Miracle of Raleigh’ took place. Important statements about Tony and his legacy continue to appear on Bluegrass Today.

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