Tony Rice is among the most essential bluegrass guitarists in history. Why? On today’s episode of Acoustic Tuesday, I’m answering that question in the finest way I understand how: by playing the 6 degrees of Tony Rice.

The important things is, the very best method to understand Tony Rice’s effect is to take a look at his impacts, to see how much he borrowed and mixed to develop some memorable music.

Now, I ‘d feature Tony Rice’s covers on this episode of Acoustic Tuesday, but copyright laws be darned, I can’t. So, instead, I’ll include other covers of the tunes that Tony Rice covered!

If you desire links to the actual Tony Rice covers, be sure to head to

To kick things off, let’s discuss the 6 most influential guitarist in Tony Rice’s music.

6) Clarence White
From his flatpicking to owning his real guitar, Tony Rice was greatly influenced by Clarence White. Tony Rice went as far as owning the specific Martin D-28 that Clarence White owned. Now, for those of you who do not know Clarence White was a member of The Kentucky Colonels, The Byrds, and much more bands. As you listen to Clarence White, you can definitely hear how the rolling flatpicking sounds influenced Tony Rice.

5) Tom Paxton
For those of you who do not understand, Tom Paxton is an unbelievable songwriter. Paxton led the charge on the folk revival. Born in Chicago, he moved to New York City and frequented the Gaslight Cafe. Tony Rice admires Tom Paxton by covering “The Last Thing on My Mind,” on Church Street Blues. If you listen to the acoustic tone and tune selection, Tom Paxton was a big influence on Tony Rice.

4) Jim Croce
In 1994, Tony Rice covered Jim Croce’s “Age” on the Bluegrass Band Vol. 4 album. Now, besides this album including some of the very best artists out there, Jim Croce’s influence on Tony Rice is evident. And, while I can’t feature the Croce initial or Rice’s cover, I can show you Seth Avett’s cover of “Operator,” so make sure to listen to it today!

3) Ian Tyson
Ian Tyson is a huge influence on Tony Rice. In truth, Tony Rice covered his song “Summer Salary” not once however two times. The time Tony Rice covered it was on Native American and the 2nd time was on J.D. Crowe and the New South’s self-titled album. If you haven’t heard that album, you require to hear it!

2) Joni Mitchell
In Tony Rices 1992 album Native American, he covered Joni Mitchell’s mild seasonal ballad “Prompt for Going.” Now, if you have not heard the original, I highly suggest it. The lyrics are terrific, the phrasing is great, and I enjoy Joni’s voice. All of this is to state that Tony Rice certainly attempted to borrow from Joni Mitchell’s lyricism. To help show it and reveal the extensive effect that Joni Mitchell had on the scene and how it further affected Tony Rice, I’ve included a clip of Dave Van Ronk covering “Prompt for Going.”

1) Gordon Lightfoot
The first degree of influence, of course, is Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot’s influence on Tony Rice can be seen in his songwriting, flatpicking, and general style and tone. See, Lightfoot led the charge on the folk revival in Canada. As such, Tony Rice in fact committed an entire album to Gordon Lightfoot.

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