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Tony Rice, bluegrass innovator with guitar picks, died at the age of 69

Tony Rice died on Saturday at his home in Reedsville, North Carolina. He died of Bluegrass and the new acoustic music industry around him. He was an influential singer and guitarist.

The International Bluegrass Music Association confirmed his death. No reason specified.

Singer and songwriter Jason Isbell said on Twitter: “Tony Rice is the king of carefully selected flat guitars.” “His influence cannot be overstated. “

Mr. Isbell is referring to the so-called “picking” technique, which involves plucking strings or picks instead of fingers on the strings of the guitar. Inspired by the strong and hard impression of Jimmy Martin, the leader of the pioneering Bluegrass band, Mr. Rice̵

7;s pickiness is very peculiar and expressive.

Mr. Isbell continued in his tweet: “I don’t know that a person can make anything more beautiful.” He described Mr. Rice’s smooth and impactful performance, in which both the harmony and the melody expression feel Priority to flash. .

Mr. Rice has left his mark on many famous musicians, including his new grass innovators Mark O’Connor and Bella Flake, Chris Tiller and Alison Krauss and other acoustic music Heirs, and his carefully selected disciples Brian Sutton and Josh Williams.

In an interview with The New York Times, Ms. Krause said of Bluegrass in the introduction to Mr. Rice in 2014: “It is impossible to return to his previous state.” Rice first invited her to meet on stage. He plays together.

Mr. Rice has been working with JD Crowe and New South Wales since the 1970s, and has established a cross-traditional bluegrass, 60s folk song, jazz improvisation, classical music and pop song creator Bridge.

He was the catalyst for the Newgrass movement, in which the band broke the bluegrass tradition by using pop and rock music to inspire inspiration, and adopted a more improvisational method to play and incorporate previously undeveloped instruments such as electric Guitar and drums.

The Bluegrass Association has named him the best instrumentalist of the year six times, and won the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for “Fireball” in 1983, which was recorded by JD Crowe and “New South” Tracks.

Mr. Rice is not only a guitarist, but also a talented singer and phrase master. His rich and supple baritone is also the leader of home singing in the three-part grass harmony arrangement, because it is an adaptation of Gordon Lightfoot’s ballad under the banner of New Grass.

But starting in 1994, his acting career was suddenly interrupted when he learned that he was suffering from muscular tonic hearing impairment, which is a severe voice disorder that made him lose the ability to sing in public and weakened him. Voice. He will not sing on stage or speak to the audience again until the Bluegrass Association introduces him to the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2013.

Soon after the diagnosis was made, Mr. Rice learned that he still suffered from lateral epiconitis, usually called tennis elbow, which made it too painful for him to play guitar in public.

David Anthony Rice was born on June 8, 1951 in Danville, Virginia, to Herbert Hoover Rice and Poindexter Rice One of the four boys, the latter is called Louise. His father is a welder and amateur musician, and his mother is a carpenter and housewife. Her name is her son Tony, after her favorite actor Tony Curtis. Everyone in the Rice family has played or sang grass music.

After the family moved to the Los Angeles area in the mid-1950s, Rice’s father formed a bluegrass band called “Golden State Boys”. The band recorded several singles, including his mother’s two brothers and a young Del McCoury, who later became a master of bluegrass music. The band inspired Mr. Rice and his brothers to form their own bluegrass band Hapazars.

The Hapazars sometimes shared local bills with Kentucky Colonels, and the band’s dazzling guitarist Clarence White (a future member of the Birds Rock Band) had a profound influence on Rice’s early musician development.

(Mr. White was killed by a drunk driver while loading equipment after a performance in 1973. Later, Mr. Rice found Mr. White’s 1935 Martin D-28 herringbone guitar, which he sold for $550 in 1975 Bought a guitar from the new owner. He started playing the guitar, affectionately calling it “antique”.)

The Rice family moved from California to Florida in 1965, and then moved to several cities in the southeast, where Rice’s father chased a welding opportunity.

He also drank, creating a turbulent family life, forcing Mr. Rice to move out when he was 17. Tony Rice himself has struggled with alcohol, but according to him, he has been sober since 2001.

After leaving school, Rice bounced at relatives’ homes, then moved to Louisville in 1970 to join the Bluegrass League. The members of the band, including the mandolinist Sam Bush, continue to form the core of the progressive bluegrass band New Grass Revival.

Mr. Rice joined JD Crowe and New South Wales in 1971. Three years later, Mr. Skaggs also signed, replacing Mr. Rice’s brother Larry. Dobro player Jerry Douglas (Jerry Douglas) also became a member of the New South at this time. In 1975, the band released an album titled simply “JD Crowe and the New South” (but its first track was “Old Home Place”, which is generally well known), in a way that brought music into the 21st century Modernize the grass.

Mr. Rice, Mr. Douglas and Mr. Skaggs left the group in 1975. Mr. Rice then moved to San Francisco and helped found the David Grisman Quartet, which is a groundbreaking ensemble that combines classical music and jazz music, and combines classical and jazz styles to create a gentleman’s personality. Riesman called “Doug Music”.

Rice told The Times in 2014: “The music before my eyes is simply something I have never seen before. At first, I thought I couldn’t learn it. The only thing that spared me was that I have always liked acoustics. Small, modern jazz sound.”

After four years with Mr. Grisman, Mr. Rice established his own group, the Tony Rice Group, which is widely praised for its experimental jazz performance methods of jazz, such as the album “Manzanita “(1979) and heard in “Mar West”. (1980).

Mr. Rice has also recorded more mainstream and traditional material for many other projects, including a series of six-volume albums that pay tribute to the grass that formed in the 1950s.

Another historic album “Skaggs & Rice” (1980) features a seamless, affectionate harmony between Mr. Skaggs and Mr. Rice to mourn the brother duo that prevailed in the early Bruzos era.

Most of Rice’s albums released after 1994 (the year when the sound disorder was diagnosed) were helpful projects or collaborations, such as “Pizza Tape”, which is a match between Grisman and Jerry of the Grateman Dead. ·An album by Garcia Chorus. Mr. Rice contributed the acoustic guitar.

His survivors include his wife of 30 years, Pamela Hodges Rice (Pamela Hodges Rice) and his brothers Ron and Wyatt. His brother Larry died in 2006.

Mr. Rice cut off a tattered figure on the stage, coupled with intricate suits and dignified manners, as if to say that because of the hasty country style, blue grass is sometimes respected outside the South.

Mr. Rice is aware of these cultural dynamics, just as he sees infinite possibilities in bluegrass music.

He said: “Maybe the reason why I dress like me can be traced back to that day. If you go out on the street, unless you have some kind of trenching work to do, you will try to make yourself look like a smelly lob. “Tell his biographers Tim Stafford and Caroline White, “Still in: The Story of Tony Rice” (2010).

“In the heyday of Miles Davis’ most famous band, you wouldn’t see Miles without wearing a tailored suit,” he continued. “My musical hero wears a suit.”

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