Still Inside comment contest winners

Congratulations to the winners in our Still Inside comment contest. They will each receive a copy of Still Inside – The Tony Rice Story from Word Of Mouth Press.

Tony chose the winners from a list of finalists compiled by co-author Tim Stafford, along with Bobby Starnes from Word Of Mouth.

The theme of the contest was to answer the questions: “What effect has Tony Rice’s music had on you? How has it affected your life?” Here are the five winning comments:

Jim Cole – Garrett Park, MD

I stepped outside into an Early Morning Rain. It was Cold on My Shoulder. Only 16 Miles more to go on that Old Train. I was tired, but that was the Last Thing on My Mind, because Me and My Guitar were Gonna Settle Down and pick again. The Unfaithful One had said I had to choose between her and the guitar, so I told her I’d Rather Be Alone. Hey, there are More Pretty Girls than One, but there’s only one Tony Rice. As I stood Out in the Cold World, I cursed his fingers for making those magical sounds that are Fine as Fine Can Be, because it was those sounds and that voice that made me tuck my Summer Wages in my pocket and Go My Way. Now I’m never Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar, but I’m sure never gonna pick like Tony, either.

David Smith – Durango, CO

After seeing Tony Rice tear out of the parking lot of the Birchmere in Virginia sometime in 1994, I committed myself to chain smoking and saving up hard cash for jewelry and a jet black Ford Mustang. If it wasn’t for that moment I wouldn’t be the hack guitar player walking on the edge of debauchery that I am today. Though as the song goes, “It takes a worries man, to sing a worries song,” so I’ve got that going for me.

Rob Seal – Waynesboro VA

I’m wary of “best of all time” titles, but I can’t think of a better rhythm player than Tony Rice. He plays like water; he moves around the structure of the song filling up the empty spaces and supporting whoever is taking a break or singing. He can drive it or make it beautiful without stepping on toes or tones. And let’s give the guy some credit for being a great one-on-one collaborator. His duet records with Ricky Skaggs, Norman Blake (twice), David Grisman, and John Carlini show just how varied and impressive his musical career has been so far.

Andrew Logston – Frankfort, KY

If I had to pick one artist of any genre to represent the soundtrack of my life it would be Tony Rice. I remember being no older than 4 or 5 yrs old when I would sit inside my father’s cheap, frayed guitar case and listen as he’d try to pick and sing just like Tony did. I remember being 13 yrs old and knowing that I had to be different because all my friends were reciting all the lyrics to the newest pop tune and I was humming Cold on the Shoulder. I remember when my wife and I were dating in college and we skipped out on Friday classes and drove 4 hours to see Tony play 60 minutes of music at a festival in Virginia. And now that my wife is 8 months pregnant with our first son I can’t help but be excited to share with him the gift that is Tony Rice’s music and legacy, because I know, first-hand, its a gift that lasts a lifetime. Thank you, Tony.

Gary Leddington – Antwerp, Belgium

Through a haze of stunning licks, powerful runs and an intricate yet driving rhythm, Tony Rice has created a language every flatpicker wants to speak. However, perhaps the most inspiring part of it all is that Rice, like the rest of us, is just a man.

Keep an eye on your mailbox, guys. Thanks to everyone who participated in this contest.

I have just started in on Still Inside, and it is an engrossing read for any fan of Tony Rice’s music.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Tony shows up all over the place in serious Bluegrass music. I was listening to Bill Emerson’s album “Home of the Red Fox” the other day and thought, “who is playing that killer guitar on rhythm and lead?” Guess who: Tony Rice! Bill wrote “Theme Time” and recorded it for that album – Tony does a fantastic break!
    Pick up Steve Huber’s solo album “Pullin’ Time.” Who’s that guitarist? Man he is good! Read the liner notes: once again its Tony Rice!
    He’s the man!
    Mark Byrum

  • mtndas

    I agree, Mark. I enjoy seeing (and hearing) the unexpected places where Tony Rice’s guitar playing shows up. One of my favorites is Aubrey Haynie’s, “Bluegrass Fiddle Album.” Unlike a lot of “solo” albums, which tend to have a different ensemble of musicians for each song, Aubrey has the same incredible band with him throughout the project. Tony Rice is on guitar and is primarily a rhythm player. Perhaps I was catching on late, or just listening with a better ear, but it was this album that made me realize what a rhythm guitar powerhouse Tony Rice is. Sam Bush on mandolin ain’t bad either!