Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tony's big Moment - and an IBMA HoF induction, too.

What is it I love about bluegrass?  Plenty, actually, but this is an outstanding illustration of at least one of the reasons:  magnificent humanity.

To nobody's surprise, Tony Rice was inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame, and through the magic of YouTube, we can all see how this went down.

I am not given to awards ceremonies.  They're dull, and usually reek of a sense of unwarranted entitlement among both audience and recipients.  When I stumbled across this link, it was merely the wanting to hear what Rice had to say, that caused me to make the effort.  I'm glad I did.

Turns out that the presenters were Peter Rowan and Sam Bush, and this definitely helped in making the introduction interesting.  Rowan, for all his obvious talents, still strikes me as pure space cadet, but Sam is a genius combination of little boy, master gentleman, ridiculous musical talent--and a savvy understanding of personalities.  And it shows here.

Then Rice came on, delivering the same upfront humility that I have seen so often in other contexts.*  Great, lovely.  But then, at about the eleven minute mark in the YT video, he begins a lead-up to a capital-M Moment that I was completely unprepared for.

If you hear nothing else, listen starting at 11:00 on the timeline.  At the 12:38 mark, he simply blasted my socks off--not with what he said (although that is, itself, beautiful), but with the voice he said it in.

This is what human beings are capable of.

* All of this is much more interesting and poignant the more you know about the backstories of each of the names that come up;  it throws everything into much sharper definition.  Suffice it to say that magnificent human beings don't always start out that way, and sometimes they do regrettable things.  But if the measure of a character is what someone does in the wake of any of that, then I'm even happier to see Rice honored for his influence here.