Zac Brown Reveals Tony Rice Joined Him on ‘Martin’ Track, Wrote Song with Rice in Mind

by Jon D. B.
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In a post to his personal Instagram today, country star Zac Brown paid tribute to late bluegrass guitar legend Tony Rice, and reveals he wrote ‘Martin’ with the maestro in mind.

“Tony Rice was an absolute master of the acoustic guitar,” Zac Brown begins of the late bluegrass legend in his post. “No one smoother. He was a great friend.”

“Precision was his game. Even his watches he built. He was an absolute perfectionist,” Brown continues of his hero.

Tony Rice tragically passed away this Christmas Day at 69. The 2013 inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame was a trailblazing influence for many of today’s top country and bluegrass musicians, including Luke Combs and, of course, Zac Brown.

“For anyone playing the flat top, the Godfather has joined the big band in the sky,” Brown laments.

He was, however, lucky enough to call his hero a friend in life. In fact, the two worked together on his band’s landmark album, You Get What You Give. Continuing on in his tribute to Rice, the country star reveals that not only did they work together on the album, but that he wrote a song specifically with Tony Rice in mind.

Zac Brown & Tony Rice Performed “Martin” Together

“Here is my song Martin that I wrote with him in mind,” Brown continues on his Instagram. It’s a fitting collaboration, too, as Martin tells the story of love between a musician and his guitar. Martin is, of course, a prolific guitar manufacturer and one of the most respected instrument brands in the world. The almost 200-year-old acoustic guitar makers perfected the “flat-top” guitar Brown references in his post.

“He was generous enough to play on this track with me and the boys. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done,” Brown concludes. Within the post, he includes the track itself, which we’ve embedded below.

“Martin” by Zac Brown Band

He was born in the woods
Torn from his home
He was naked and destined
To be out on his own
And he waited in darkness
Hoping someone might see
From something so rough
What a treasure he’d be

Stronger than steel and wood
Seen me through the bad and good
When I’m hanging by a string
Every little thing is understood
Between Martin and me

He’s hollow in the middle
From the shape that he’s in
He’s either filled up with music
Or locked in his shell again
And it takes some fine tuning
To make him come around
But he’s a huge piece of me
And I’ll never put him down

Stronger than steel and wood
Seen me through the bad and good
And when I’m hanging by a string
Every little thing is understood
Between Martin and me

He is a good friend
And he has his own voice
And you get what you give
Sometimes it’s just noise
But if you treat him well
He will last your life long
If you’re honest and open
He will write you a song
(Write you a song)
Write you a song

Stronger than steel and wood
Seen me through the bad and good
And when I’m hanging by a string
Every little thing is understood
Hanging on by a string
Every little thing is understood
Between Martin and me

Martin, Zac Brown Band

To listen to the full song, Zac Brown Band has Martin up on their YouTube channel for fans:

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