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Larry Rice

Clouds Over Carolina – 2005 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Larry Rice

Larry Rice has been a part of bluegrass for decades as an instrumentalist, singer and composer. He has played with some of the top bands in the genre, including stints with his brothers. On his latest, he turns to some of the best-known names in bluegrass to back him, including brothers Tony and Wyatt and Rickie and Ronnie Simpkins.

Rice has an easygoing voice that is pure listening pleasure. This CD is more easy listening than hard-driving roots bluegrass though it never strays from the bluegrass formula of instrumentation. Most songs could as easily been done in a classic country setting (or have been: "We Live In Two Different Worlds," "Freight Train" and "Rainy Day People"). His version of "Sunday Silence" will speak to everyone who has experienced heartbreak and loneliness, but he comes back with "Don't Be Careful What You Wish For" to tell us to take chances.

Rice doesn't let you forget he knows how to drive a song, throwing in a self-penned instrumental ("Burnt Rice") and "Little Maggie." Larry and Tony produced, and they've done a fine job of showcasing the talent of the musicians, giving us a collection that should appeal to a very broad bluegrass and near-bluegrass audience.