I just got sad news from Heather West at Bloodshot Records: Nancy Tannenbaum, aka Nancy Rideout, the original guitarist of free-wheeling bluegrass-rock revisionists Moonshine Willy, was killed yesterday in an accident. According to the e-mail, she was riding her motorcycle on the West Side Highway in Manhattan when she swerved to avoid an erratic pedestrian and was thrown from her bike. She was 47.

West forwards the following from Rob Miller: “Nancy played on the first two Moonshine Willy CDs and, with her frantic, wild-eyed playing, helped define the emerging sound of the Insurgent Country, roots/punk hybrid that was coalescing in Chicago in the mid-90’s. Many younger players looked to her for advice, inspiration, or to just steal her inventive and intuitive mashing of classic bluegrass runs and rock and roll. She was an integral part of Bloodshot’s early history; I cannot imagine all those shows at Lounge Ax or Wednesday nights at Crash Palace/Delilah’s without her. She was a kook, a sweetheart, a bandmate and a good friend.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.