One of the most influential and consistently impressive flat-picking guitarists in all of Bluegrass. Following in the footsteps of the great Doc Watson, Crary released a series of excellent albums in the early 1970s, upgrading the status of the guitar from jangly rhythm accompaniment to a solo instrument on par with the banjo, fiddle and mandolin. Crary's playing is crisp and earthy with long, rhythmically exciting lines. His "Black Mountain Rag," from the album Bluegrass Guitar, stands at the top of the genre. When he gets together with players like Bela Fleck or members of the Bluegrass Alliance, which includes Sam Bush and Tony Rice, it's basically guaranteed that fiery, friendly competition is going to produce top-notch musical results. Later releases continue the excellence, though Crary's best when he sticks to playing and doesn't sing.