Although their name has been likened to a law firm, Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pederson are anything but a stodgy bunch of bookworms. The seeds of the acoustic country/newgrass group were planted in September 1963 when brothers Larry and Tony Rice, Chris Hillman, and Herb Pedersen all performed at a bluegrass festival in Pasadena, CA. Thirty-three years later, the four came together on the loose sessions of Out of the Woodwork on Rounder Records in 1997. Former Byrd Hillman plays guitar and mandolin, acoustic guitar hero Tony Rice (who was the original guitarist for J.D. Crowe & the New South) also sings, Tony's brother Larry plays mandolin and guitar, and former Laurel Canyon Rambler Herb Pedersen picks the banjo and the occasional guitar.
In addition to all of this instrumentation, each member takes turn on vocals, making for a diverse shift from song to song, as well as some rich overall harmonies. Their self-titled second album appeared in 1999, and another two years later, they released the warm acoustic Running Wild. ~ Zac Johnson