"For that small niche of people that appreciate the highly under-rated guitar picking of Tony Rice, this DVD is a must own. Picture this, Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Mark O'Connor, Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas all jamming on one stage....Wow! The leads are all quick and complicated, taking bluegrass to new heights. I was pleased to find out this footage was recorded in 1992, before Tony lost his voice. Tony's voice sounds great on classics such as "Blue Railroad Train" and "Nine Pound Hammer."A few small matters: Don't let the title of this DVD fool you, Tony has never made a "video," Each piece of footage is from a 1992 bluegrass festival filmed by the local PBS outfit. The result is seeing Tony in his prime and where he is at his best.. a live performance.
The sound quality seems like it was a live mix, meaning there are times when the guitar could go up, the bass could go down, etc.(Even a few instances of feedback) Just remember, It's live!! This DVD is extremely enjoyable, especially for those guitar players out there who have always wanted close ups of what Tony is doing. Yes, you may come out of this DVD with a few riffs, I did. Tony's #1 fan,
Tony Rice - Raw
Rod Saunders | Tulsa, Ok | 02/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like the other reviewers I was somewhat disappointed that all you get here is footage from the Merle Watson festival in North Carolina in 1992. It's the only DVD footage that I'm aware of with such names as Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Mark O'Connor, David Grisman, Pete Wernick, Jerry Douglas, and Ricky Skaggs all performing together - a veritable Mt. Rushmore of bluegrass. You really get a sense of being at the festival watching this video, because it's so casual. You see soundmen walking across the stage during a performance. You hear the crowd's responses to the solos. You see cameramen scurrying to get the right shot (sometimes a bit late) when the fiddler starts his solo. Sometimes you wait a few seconds for the volume to come up on the right instrument. Nothing slick about this production. Just a rare glimpse into the world of bluegrass virtuosity. Mark O'Connor's break on Bluegrass Breakdown was incredible. Sam Bush's vocal rendition of White House Blues was a treat. And of course, Tony is his usual brilliant self on his legendary Martin. The three segments presented here are from the same 1992 festival. The first is the Tony Rice All Star Jam featuring Tony, Sam, Mark, Jerry, Bela, and Mark Schatz on bass for Red Haired Boy, Blue Railroad Train, I Wonder Where You Are Tonight, and White House Blues. The second is Tony and pretty much everybody else except for Sam and Bela in Tony Rice & Friends on The Old Home Place and Bluegrass Breakdown, a classic parking lot type jam session of a tune reminiscent of Foggy Mountain Breakdown. The third is the Tony Rice Unit with Tony, brother Wyatt on acoustic guitar, Rickie and Ronnie Simpkins on fiddle and bass, and Jimmy Gaudreau on mandolin for Dusty Miller, He Rode All The Way To Texas, Salt Creek, Another Lonesome Day, Nine Pound Hammer, Darcy Farrow, Crazy Creek, Little Sadie, and Gordon Lightfoot's Shadows.Maybe someday somebody will put together a good DVD with excerpts from the best bluegrass festivals across the country over the past 30 years. You know - live performances by The Newgrass Revival, Dan Crary, Tony Trischka, The David Grisman Quintet, Alan Munde, Stuart Duncan ... maybe a few performances of the winners of the various competitions (some of them are as good as the big name artists) or classic parking lot jam sessions. They could even include a little documentary on the history of these artists and festivals. It might take a 2 DVD set to do it justice but I'd love to see it. In the meantime I guess we have to settle for the occassional bones thrown to us by these video companies. This DVD is as good as any for the time being."
Awesome flatpickin' and straight-ahead bluegrass, but...
shannonhills | southern california | 03/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tony Rice is the Man, no question. His fingers are faster than... well, you know. But he's no showman. You have to really be into the music to enjoy this video, because it's 100% playing. Not even one introduction to a song or to anyone on the stage. Fortunately, I am into it, but when I first watched it, I was a little disappointed. So I wanted to warn others. Don't get me wrong -- I really love this video, and I also own "An Intimate Lesson with Tony Rice" and "The Tony Rice Guitar Method." However, I am also a HUGE fan of the other musicians on this recording, namely: Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Mark O'Connor, David Grisman (I first fell in love with "Dawg" music at age 10), Mark Shatz, et al. Maybe I'm being harsh, but I didn't think this video did justice to the tremendous talent on the stage. For example, in the first segment (Tony Rice All Star Jam), you don't even see (let alone hear) Bela Fleck until 3/4 of the way through; and then it's one solo. For a better idea of what these guys can do together, buy Bela's "Bluegrass Sessions, Vol. 2" CD. Also worthy is Jerry Douglas' CD with Russ Barenberg and Edgar Meyer entitled, "Skip, Hop & Wobble." And if you like this kind of music, you can't miss the Chris Thile (20-something mandolin magician) disc entitled "Not All Who Wander Are Lost," which features many of the people who appear on this Tony Rice video. All in all, I'm glad I bought this video, but I still wish it provided a little more.... enthusiasm."
Tony Rice Video Collection A Live Bluegrass Classic
Joan B. Green | Durango, CO USA | 11/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Live concert footage of Tony Rice with both the Tony Rice Unit and various other bluegrass stars. Excellent concert video and sound with just enough close up shots of musicians' hands sprinkled in to satisfy bluegrass technique fanatics.Mostly traditional material. A rare chance to appreciate Tony's famous 1935 Martin D-28 (formerly owned by Clarence White) before its unfortunate damage later that year (1992) in hurricane Andrew.The sound of this guitar in Tony's capable hands comes through loud and clear. On several songs Tony's brother Wyatt plays a newer Santa Cruz Tony Rice model, and the contrast between the vintage Martin and one of its best modern interpretations is enlightening."
email@example.com | Cape Town, South Africa | 11/27/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tony Rice and a varied lie up of top bluegrass exponents go all out on this 62 minute concert video. Notable contributors include: Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Ricky Scaggs, David Grisman and Mark O'Connor. While the production and sound may not be perfect the enjoyment that these guys have in producing quality bluegrass and the shear effortless musicianship are wonderous to behold. Fans of Tony Rice will marvel at his flatpicking technique and clear vocals. Pleasant variation is provided with the Tony Rice Unit treatment of Lightfoot and other numbers. A must for bluegrass fans."