Colorado jam band The String Cheese Incident has just released a cover of the late bluegrass legend Tony Rice’s “Old Train.”
David Anthony Rice died Dec. 25 at age 69. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2013, and he won a Grammy Award in 1993 for best country instrumental performance for “Fireball” – coincidentally, 1993 was the same year The String Cheese Incident was formed.
The String Cheese Incident is known for its cross-genre approach to music, spanning everything from bluegrass, jazz and rock, to electronic and EDM. SCI was founded on bluegrass roots, where Rice has been a major influence to the band’s overall approach to their music, according to a news release sent out by the band.
And they’re also a longtime Durango favorite.
“Durango became part of the early circuit when we were driving ourselves around in the mid-’90s, maybe ’95, ’96. I can’t remember the first bar – we played actually at my brother’s wedding at the Diamond Circle at the Strater. We played in there a couple of other times,” String Cheese bassist Keith Mosely said in a past interview. “Durango’s always been on the map as one of those happening Western Slope towns that would come out and see us. Unfortunately, we’re mostly just playing major markets these days, so we haven’t visited a lot of places like Durango in a long time. The closest we’ve been was probably the RIDE Festival in Telluride, but we haven’t forgotten the fans in the markets like Durango; we love our Colorado mountain folk fan base, for sure.”
For String Cheese, Rice’s influence on music will carry on as part of his legacy.
“Tony Rice’s guitar playing shaped a generation of musicians. His impeccable tone, taste and timing were unmatched and highly regarded by players and listeners alike,” said Bill Nershi, String Cheese guitarist and founding member of the band, in the news release. “We are very fortunate to have so many great recordings of his life’s work. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing him perform, check out The Tony Rice Unit and David Grisman Quintet albums. I recommend you start with the album ‘Manzanita.’
“We’ll never forget you Tony!”