Tony Rice - Church Street Blues

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by claes, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. claes

    claes Tele-Afflicted

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    Living in sweden and new to bluegrass this clip really confuses me. I see all those references to tony rice from people about how great he is etc.

    Here comes my question. I really like this simple song.
    It has a simple very pronounced 4/4 pattern.

    But in my ears rice cut up this pattern and the song in the instrumental parts and the song halts in my ears. I don't like that at all. In fact, I think he is ruining this simple song.

    This made me wonder if he is the yngwie of bluegrass. That he plays to many notes just because he can and maybe to show of his skill.

    I don't say it's the case. I wonder if I'm the only one thinking this song halts. And maybe if someone who is a fan can educate me on what I'm missing.
     
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  2. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    https://www.toppermost.co.uk/tony-rice/

    Here’s my take on tony. He’s capable of great subtlety and sublime musicality. The word I use is ‘elegant’.

    Just my take - hope you enjoy. Nfi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    If you want the definitive version of this song, go find Norman Blake's version...he wrote it.

    TR is a great player...but that version of CSB doesn't appeal to me either.
     
  4. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I went back and listened a bit more closely to the TR version. I like it less and less. Sounds disjointed to me but he just picks thru it and drives on. It is different than Norman's original (Norman plays on the beat and it sound more pleasant to me).

    Funnily, everybody seems to think this is Tony Rice's tune...and that his version is "definitive" (lots of videos purporting to teach it to you online).



    This is more like the TR I prefer:



    And...the same tune by 3 amazing pickers and some Mandolin guy...:rolleyes::D

     
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  5. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's a version of the same song with two of the best...

     
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  6. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I was attempting to avoid banjo content. :D

    FWIW, I think Billy attempts some of the TR style but Bela pretty much sticks to being Bela.
     
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  7. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Huh?

    Well no accounting for taste but that's hardly a Yngwie type jam! Note he's playing 3-4 open chords in first position and playing as close to melody as I've ever heard him. He's not flying up the neck and trying to impress he's embellishing the melody with the chords via arpeggios and cross picking.

    Aside from Clarence White this style of playing was uncommon in the early 1970s when TR hit the scene. Norman Blake who wrote this tune plays similarly albeit simpler as well.

    Playing solo, he's playing, rhythm, lead and keeping a bass line going. try it! I know LOTS of people who can play like this but lack the elegance as said above. i'd heard this song by TR many times but never watched the video as I recall. I was amazed it's all first position open cowboy chords! I'd have sworn he was moving around the fret board much more.

    If you really don't like this don't bother with more TR; He's usually not noted for playing melodies and improvises all over a jam.

    One of my thrills was seeing Tony Rice and Norman Blake perform together back in the 1990s!
     
  8. scook

    scook Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Tony can be a bit much for an intro into bluegrass guitar. Doc and Blake are probably better as a gateway. Kentucky Colonels/Clarence White are phenomenal too.
    Would also highly recommend going back and listening to Flatt and Scruggs and some Stanley Brothers.
    Then listen to the Blake and Rice albums to compare them side by side.
     
  9. tubegeek

    tubegeek Tele-Afflicted

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    Tough to beat Norman Blake. His 8 minute flatpicking miracle "Railroad Blues" never fails to get my jaw dropped. Yes, I think he hits one clam in there, but he's going so fast when he hits it that I've never actually been sure. (@4:01 for all you (nit)pickers.)

    His album "Blackberry Blossom" is a great joy throughout - a huge bummer, yes, but a great joy. A Southern Gothic Luddite concept album.

    "That's just the scale: the fish come later."

     
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  10. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tony Rice and Ricky Skaggs cut a good album together.

     
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  11. fjblair

    fjblair Tele-Meister

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    I think Tony's version is a masterpiece. Always have.
     
  12. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Holic

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    You can take any genre of music, change the tempo, change structure, chord voicings, tempo, move it to another genre, it's done all the time. I read an interview with Tony where he commented that he didn't want to listen to anyone who tried to imitate his playing style because he played what he felt and he wanted to hear what any other player of any instrument felt and played.

    I would think Norman has an entirely different view and great appreciation of Tony's version and I highly doubt but know the thought that Tony was just trying to show off his skills would ever cross his mind as Norman greatly respects Tony.

    If as you say you're new to this genre it'll take quite a bit of studying to advance you're understanding.
     
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