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Guitar Master Tony Rice and Fiddler Paul Warren to be Inducted Into IBMA Hall of Fame

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Tony RiceNashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced yesterday that bandleader/singer/guitar innovator Tony Rice and fiddler Paul Warren will be inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame at its Awards Show in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday, September 26, 2013.

Tony Rice is an American master of the acoustic guitar whose music has provided inspiration and a benchmark of excellence for musicians from a variety of genres and across a variety of instruments, and enchanted countless listeners around the globe.

Over a career that has spanned more than 40 years, Tony Rice has recorded and performed with a list of legends that includes Dolly Parton, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Stéphane Grappelli, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, and Peter Rowan. The roster of artists who have been influenced by Rice expands constantly as new generations and players of all ages and from a wide range of styles discover his music. Artists from other genres (Zac Brown, Vince Gill, Mary Chapin Carpenter) and artists known for brilliance on instruments other than guitar (fiddlers Alison Krauss and Mark O’Connor, banjoists Béla Fleck and Mark Johnson) count themselves as Rice scholars and friends. Guitarists around the globe have studied Rice’s impeccable technique, tone, and timing as they worked to discover their own styles.

Known as much for his gorgeously warm, expressive vocals as for his guitar virtuosity, Rice sadly lost his voice to a condition called muscle tension dysphonia, singing live for the final time at a festival in May 1994. He simply channeled that expression into his playing. Rice won the first award for Instrumental Performer of the Year—Guitar from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 1990, and has been nominated in this category every year since, winning it again in 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, and 2007.

It is difficult to overstate the value of Tony Rice’s contribution to guitar music, the bluegrass and acoustic jazz songbooks, and the fundamentals of tone, taste, and timing. He transformed the way guitar is played in bluegrass music, an American art form that has built cultural bridges and captured the hearts of listeners around the world.

Paul WarrenRegarding inductee Paul Warren, music historian/musician Eddie Stubbs said, “I think it’s important to recognize that Paul is being honored by the IBMA for his bluegrass contributions as a musician and bass vocalist, but his role with the fiddle went beyond bluegrass. The majority of his career occurred when the lines of country and bluegrass weren't really as rigid. After rock and roll emerged in the middle 1950s, the fiddle went on life-support, and has really been there ever since. There were only a handful of bands that consistently kept a fiddle on board. The instrument became a luxury and not a necessity--even in bluegrass. Because of Paul's visibility with Flatt & Scruggs, and later Lester by himself, the instrument remained present to a wider audience that was not exclusively bluegrass from the late 1950s through Paul's retirement in 1977.”

In 1954, Warren began his long association with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs when he replaced Benny Martin in their Foggy Mountain Boys; he appeared on all of their recordings between 1954 and 1969. When Flatt and Scruggs broke up in the late '60s, Warren played in Flatt's Nashville Grass through early 1977. In an interview, Lester Flatt stated, “Paul Warren is one of the solidest, most dependable musicians that ever played.”

Before Flatt & Scruggs, Warren participated in many recording sessions with Johnnie & Jack, appearing on just under one-half of the duo's entire recorded output. Warren also helped define Kitty Wells’ instrumental sound on record. His numerous sessions with her included the classic "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels."

Founded in 1991, the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, housed in the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY, is an institution devoted to the recognition of noteworthy individuals for outstanding contributions to bluegrass music. Each year a nominating committee, consisting of music industry leaders, creates a slate of 10-15 candidates. From these names, a panel of more than 200 electors in the music industry cast ballots to narrow the nominees to five finalists. The panel votes a final time to select the inductee(s) for that year.

The IBMA Awards Show will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction, Channel 14) and syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks, thanks to the sponsorship of Compass Records, John Pearse Strings, Bluegrass Today, Deering Banjos, BMI, the International Bluegrass Music Museum and Music City Roots. For information visit

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