After a career of four decades, groundbreaking guitarist Tony Rice is suffering from a painful condition that has rendered him unable to perform and make a living. In response to his hard times, fans have joined together to help the legendary musician via the Tony Rice Foundation fund.

Rice is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential acoustic guitarists of his generation. Beginning with early stints in the Bluegrass Alliance and then the New South, he moved on to a career that saw him playing with the likes of David Grisman, the Bluegrass Album Band, the Tony Rice Unit and more, as well as a string of highly-regarded collaborations.

Never one to rest on his musical laurels, Rice has constantly pushed to expand the horizons of his playing, creating a broad-reaching body of work that encompassed bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, newgrass, folk, jazz and more. He was inducted into the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Hall of Fame in 2013.

Initially a singer as well as an instrumentalist, Rice lost his voice years ago to a condition called muscle tension dysphonia, but he has kept performing since, focusing on his guitar playing. But now, due to a crippling condition called Lateral Epicondylitis -- an inflammation more commonly known as tennis elbow -- the legend has been unable to perform.

Consequently, he's unable to earn the money to afford the surgery which could help alleviate the condition and get him playing again. So two longtime friends started a Facebook page, asking fans and supporters to donate what they can toward his care.

They are asking those who can to commit to a monthly $10 donation, but any and all donations will be gratefully accepted. Fans can deposit money directly into a PayPal account designated for Rice, or send a check to the address below:

Tony Rice
P.O. BOX 914
Odessa, Fla.

According to the Facebook page, there are no administration or handling fees. Every cent received will go directly to the fund to care for Tony Rice.