Tony Rice, bluegrass guitar maestro, went to the great pickin’ festival in the sky today. He hadn’t been well for a while which had affected his playing and he’d refused to perform when he felt he was less than 100% i.e. about 1000 times better than almost anyone. He was also a languid and natural singer and took the genre way beyond where other great bluesgrass pickers go, rather like Clarence White, his great inspiration, did in the 60s. He leaves a great legacy of albums and live material, this being a good example of him in his natural environment, trading licks live with other monster players Mark O’Conner, Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas. His solos at the beginning and end would probably take the average moral about 30 years to learn and he knocks them off with ease – and you can be sure the following night he’d have done something completely different. There are many great shredders but few with such swing, poise and relaxed sense of fun and joy at playing.