Barry Waldrep, banjo picker, songwriter, and producer from Alabama, looks to be the first out of the gate with a Tony Rice tribute album since we lost the bluegrass icon last December. He has assembled a large cast of artists from the bluegrass, country, and Americana communities to honor Tony with a special 21-track project, all recorded since Rice passed on Christmas day, 2020.
Included are performances by singers Jimmy Hall, Rodney Crowell, Darrell Scott, Marty Raybon, Mike Farris, Kim Richey, Warren Haynes, Vince Gill, Radney Foster, Teresa Williams & Larry Campbell, Jim Lauderdale, John Berry, Patrick Simmons, John Paul White, Jacob Bunton, John Jorgenson, Rory Feek, Donna Hall & Kelli Johnson, and John Cowan. Supporting as instrumentalists are Barry Waldrep, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Rogers, Andrea Zonn, Aubrey Haynie, Bryan Hall, Caelan Berry, Spooner Oldham, Oteil Burbridge, James “Hutch” Hutchinson, Jason Bailey, Bryn Davies, Scott Vestal, Benji Shanks, Dillon Hodges, and Heidi Feek.
Barry Waldrep and Friends Celebrate Tony Rice is due to hit on December 24 of this year, and a first single is available today.
The overall vibe of the record is less bluegrass than country, designed to open the eyes and ears of people who may not be aware of the great music Tony created during his life, and the many varied artists he brought together during the making of it.
Among the grassier tracks is the new single, Blue Railroad Train, sung by Marty Raybon, with stellar credentials in both the bluegrass and country realms. Marty actually chose this one out of the deep catalog of songs Rice had made his own, and says that he is deeply grateful to have been included.
“I am honored to be part of this project that salutes and celebrates Tony Rice’s legacy. I can tell you, you can’t go wrong with adding this record to your collection. I loved Tony, I loved him personally, and the talent that he had.”
Marty is assisted on the track by Waldrep on guitar and mandolin, Andrea Zonn on fiddle, Bryan Hall on bass, and Caelan Berry on drums. Kelli Johnson provides the harmony vocals.
Have a listen…
Pre-orders for Barry Waldrep and Friends Celebrate Tony Rice are enabled now online, for both audio CDs and a double vinyl set. Delivery is promised on or before Christmas Eve this year.
A portion of the proceeds from this project will be donated in Tony’s name to the IBMA Trust Fund, which assists members of the bluegrass community in times of need.