Cover: $22.00/$20.00 members/$25 day of show
“Two musical phenoms” – NPR
“[Rob andTrey] are an acoustic firestorm…forget what you know about bluegrass and country, because Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley are changing the rules.” – Vintage Guitar
“In this ever changing world of country music, it’s comforting to know that the real deal still exists.” – Marty Stuart
Take a 15-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Dobro Player of the year and a Tennessee guitar prodigy who made his Opry debut at the age of 11 and you have Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, a GRAMMY-nominated powerhouse acoustic duo that is blowing minds in the acoustic music scene.
Known for their white-hot picking and high-lonesome vocals, Ickes and Hensley meld together country, bluegrass, jamgrass, blues, country rock and other string band music of all kinds to form a signature blend of music that defies restrictions of genre.
Ickes co-founded the group Blue Highway and has been a sought-after Nashville session player and live performing musician for decades, with credits to his name such as Vince Gill, Earl Scruggs, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire and Alison Krauss. Hensley has been called “Nashville’s hottest young player” by Acoustic Guitar magazine and his soulful baritone vocals have received acclaim as well. Influenced by repertoires as diverse as The Allman Brothers Band, Ray Charles, Merle Haggard and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hensley has shared stages with artists such as Johnny Cash, Steve Wariner, and Peter Frampton. As a duo, Ickes and Hensley have performed / collaborated with Tommy Emmanuel, Taj Mahal, David Grisman, and Jorma Kaukonen & Hot Tuna — all enthusiastic admirers of the duo — as well as Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi All Stars, Molly Tuttle, and many more.
Ickes and Hensley have gained some added grit and a nod to the roots side of Americana aided by GRAMMY-winning producer Brent Maher (Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Faces, The Judds, Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner) on the duo’s third Compass Records album, WORLD FULL OF BLUES (released Oct. 4, 2019). Blues great Taj Mahal provides his unmistakable mojo to the title track and country music legend Vince Gill guests on an inspired rendition of cover of the Grateful Dead’s moonshiner song, “Brown-Eyed Women.” The project, which includes a range of songs that could be on a vintage Sun Records recording to Trey’s more traditional country originals, concludes with a smoking hot rendition of blues/rock guitarist Robben Ford’s “Rugged Road.” Their previous releases include The Country Blues (2016) and the Grammy-nominated debut, Before The Sun Goes Down(2015).
Ickes and Hensley have performed in places as close to home as Nashville’s world famous Station Inn and as far away as Denmark’s Tonder Festival. They’ve played many prestigious music festivals, including Telluride Bluegrass, ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival, AmericanaFest, Rockygrass, ROMP, Wintergrass, Bluegrass Underground, Vancouver Island Music Festival, Guitar Town, Sisters Folk Festival, the Freshgrass Festival and several others. They were invited to play at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass by Buddy Miller in October 2019 and will set sail from Miami to St. Croix and Antigua on the Cayamo cruise alongside Brian Wilson, Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples, Rodney Crowell and others in February 2020. Several more tour dates are planned in 2020 with Taj Mahal, their “World Full of Blues” collaborator.
The duo were key players on “Original,” the recent highly lauded Compass album by bluegrass giant Bobby Osborne; their participation garnered a Recorded Event Of The Year Award for Bobby’s version of “Got To Get A Message To You” on that album at this year’s IBMA Awards; they also were on the 2016 Recorded Event winner, ”Fireball,” featuring Special Consensus, in 2016.
Ickes and Hensley continue to leave their singular—fand ever growing—footprint on the world of traditional music of America–be it bluegrass, traditional country, acoustic, blues, or jazz–both acoustic and electric. Of their collaboration, Ickes has said this: “It works in so many different ways…Trey and I have always clicked, and when he and I know what’s going on, everyone else just grabs on—and that’s kind of the fun of the gig; it’s constantly changing.”
When performing, the talented duo never fails to kick up some musical dust. The excitement at their gigs is palpable, contagious, and constant. Their sets tend to be a heady mix of the new and unexpected with the familiar and beloved. Hensley’s list of powerful original songs has grown quickly since the two started working together, and Ickes invariably plays several sparkling instrumentals, both on dobro and lap steel, new and old. He is also on record as saying that one of his great satisfactions as a Dobro player is accompanying a great vocalist, something the partnership allows him every night.
It was Hensley’s singing on what was meant to be a scratch vocal on a Blue Highway album that first brought him to the attention of Ickes. Ultimately, the vocal stayed on the album, Hensley moved to Nashville, and in partnership with Ickes, they began to make all manner of exciting music. Shortly after Hensley appeared on the scene in Music City, bluegrass Hall Of Famer Roland White was heard to remark in wonderment that he had a new favorite guitar player in Nashville—and White knows a few things about guitar players. Needless to say, White is not the only fan Hensley has made in Nashville. In many ways, this musical partnership is the ideal vehicle for both partners. Their excitement at playing together continues unabated; as their enthusiasm charges the creativity of their collaboration on a nightly basis. It is the audience who stands to be the big winner.