Sad, great band leader as well as player
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He's getting a lot of appreciation on Twitter. I have listened to his records with David Grisman for a long time ("Tone Poems" is one). Many say he is the King of flat-picked flattop guitar, and changed bluegrass forever. He lost his voice in the 90s and in the last decade or more has arthritis and hand problems, but soldiered on playing as much as he could.
This is an excellent show. As jazzy as it is bluegrass in some tracks.
Great article @patrickdowns, thanks. The bassist mentioned in it (Todd Phillips) is an old friend of mine from San Jose. He was leaving a band I was just joining in '71, to focus on studying mandolin with David Grisman up in Marin County. David encouraged him to instead learn upright bass (Todd was playing a Fender P-bass at that time), as there were a lot of good mandolin players around, not so many good upright players. Todd took his advice, and ended up in David's band, as well as working with Tony on a number of his albums (Todd also made a couple of albums as band leader). Nice work if you can get it---all it takes is talent ;-) .
As Jerry said it’s a #€¥£ing pleasure to play with you Tony. Tony said likewise. rip Tony listen to the shady grove on Jerry David and Tony’s pizza tapes as good as noodling and in the moment acoustic jamming gets gives me goosebumps every time I play it. I bet him and Jerry are having a good time right now
Really weird. I was just listening to Pizza Tapes just two days ago. I absolutely love their recording of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. Probably my favorite of all time. If it weren’t for too much dialog at times on some of the tracks Pizza Tapes would be on my desert island list (probably still would take it with me :)).
I got to see him from the second row about nine years ago. You could tell that underneath that suit, he was thinner than his cigarette. A breeze might have blown him off the stage.
But good lord, he could still slay on guitar. On solos, he'd intersperse phrases that sounded like pretty-standard bluegrass with riffs that would just blow your mind with inventiveness. An all-time great.
Sad to hear the news. I was blessed to have seen him live a few times from just a few rows back at music festivals here in the South. At one fest I got to see him roll right by me onto the grounds in his 5 liter Mustang and he gave me a reassuring nod as I waved to him and smiled. I think he liked fast cars and probably drove in from NC to North FL for that one.
RIP Tony... thanks for all the great music
I saw him several times at a festival I used to go to in Florida back in the late 90's and early 00's.He played with Grissman often there, but also many other bluegrass stars, as well as solo. Most of the time when he was not doing his set he'd be sittin' in with somebody else. Also saw him numerous time s at Merlefest. I have most of his performances there on DAT.
RIP, I'll miss you Tony.
Sad news. Early 90’s visiting DC and looked up clubs in yes the “yellow pages”. Went to the original Birchmere in Alexandria VA and Tony stood in for a band member of the Seldom Scene. Tony was fresh off the plane after recording the Pizza Tapes with Garcia and Grisman. Took me about 15 minutes to realize the mastery I was experiencing. Fell in love with “Space Grass” and Tony’s guitar mastery.