“We were not only pickers together, we were friends. Losing Tony was like losing a brother.”
— Band Leader J.D. Crowe
When guitarist Tony Rice died on Christmas Day in his North Carolina home, bluegrass music bade farewell to a second-generation star who expressed his music in modern terms and embraced bluegrass’s potential to both blend with and influence other genres.
“The music business has lost a true innovator,” says Jimmy Gaudreau, who played mandolin with Rice in the Eighties and Nineties. “As far as the guitar players of today, they name Tony Rice as the number one influence.”