The 17-track album assembles a wide range of material from Rice’s catalogue of covers of the work of the many singer-songwriters with whom he has been associated during his long career. Night Flyer: The Singer-Songwriter Collection actually begins with the previously unreleased Rice original Never Meant to Be, a venting of his feelings in the aftermath of the break-up of a long-term marriage with a sad, bitter tone that is completely real in its sense of unresolved hurt and anger. From other sources is a version of Gordon Lightfoot’s Changes, which opens with a sublime guitar introduction with perfect counterpoint by the Dobro ¬Æof Jerry Douglas. Also included are covers of Joni Mitchell’s Urge for Going, James Taylor’s Me and My Guitar, John Mayall’s Night Flyer, Bob Dylan’s Sweetheart Like You and Tom Waits’ Pony.
As illustrated, this compilation contains a broad selection of Rice’s engaging songs taken from several of his albums ‚Äì as well as three previously unreleased tracks ‚Äì demonstrating the wide range of non-bluegrass material that he incorporated into his signature sound.
Tim Stafford, co-author of a forthcoming Tony Rice biography and an ace guitarist himself, is looking forward to the release of the CD ‚Ä¶.
“For me, the really interesting stuff is the previously unreleased tracks, including Never Meant to Be, a beautiful Tony original originally scheduled to appear on the ‘Me and My Guitar’ project, About Love, which was written by Tony’s late brother Larry, and the poignant Pony, which was recorded during the ‘Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pedersen 2’ sessions.”
Alison Krauss who not so long ago shared the staged on tour with Rice has this to say about Tony ‚Ä¶
“To me, his music was never built on anything but emotion. That’s what’s so addicting ‚Äì the pictures and the feelings it brings to you. Everything is played so beautifully…even though he’s so technically amazing, the reason you put those records on, at least for me, isn’t because of that. It’s emotional, and that’s why those records last. He just happens to be technically beautiful, at the same time, beyond anybody else.”
The complete track listing is as follows:
- Never Meant to Be*
- Urge for Going
- Me and My Guitar
- St. James Hospital
- John Wilkes Booth
- Four Strong Winds
- All the Way to Texas
- About Love*
- Sweetheart Like You
- Green Light on the Southern
- Hard Love
- Why You Been Gone So Long
- Wayfaring Stranger
- Likes of Me
* Previously unreleased track
Featured and accompanying musicians on this collection include Larry Atamanuik, Cole Burgess, Sam Bush, Kathy Chiavola, Vassar Clements, the afore-mentioned Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Jimmy Gaudreau, Todd Phillips, Wyatt Rice, Mark Schatz and Bill Wolf.
With his subtle touch, beautiful tone, amazing speed and imaginative phrasing, Rice has inspired guitarists far and wide for decades, as both a peerless lead player and the quintessential rhythm player. His inventive approach encompasses many acoustic music genres in addition to bluegrass, including jazz, blues, classical, folk, and swing, as is evident in his numerous solo and collaborative recordings. Twice nominated for a Grammy Award, as a member of The New South he won the Best Country Instrumental Performance award in 1983 with Fireball.