Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
Live at The Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Farm and Fun Time Radio Bristol
15 September 2016 Bristol VA/TN
Rob Ickes (rhymes with bikes) is one of the best dobro players in the world, no question. Don’t take my word for it. The pre-eminent bluegrass organisation, the IBMA, has awarded him Dobro Player of the Year an astonishing fifteen times – he is, in fact, the most IBMA-awarded musician in its history. Ickes was a key member of Blue Highway for many years and has played with Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Earl Scruggs, Don Henley, Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson.
Trey Hensley is close to the roots of country music. After picking up a guitar at the age of ten, he performed on the Grand Ole Opry when he was eleven. He has a fine voice and is a mighty talented guitarist. Through the years, he has performed with Marty Stuart, Earl Scruggs, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys and Ricky Skaggs.
Trey relocated to Nashville (as did Rob a while back) and they started playing together on a regular basis. In 2013, they made the canny decision to work on a successful duo album together, Before the Sun Goes Down, which was released in 2015. The duo has since signed to Compass Records and issued the well-received Country Blues.
To see them together here was something special – their set list was pretty broad – Charlie Daniel‘s ‘Willie Jones’, ‘My Way Is The Highway’, a funky country ‘Pray Enough’, the lovely ballad ‘That’s What Leaving’s For’ and a souped-up take on Ray Charles‘ ‘Leave My Woman Alone’. Also, the pair’s cover of Stevie Ray Vaughn‘s ‘Pride and Joy’ was inventive and scintillating. If you don’t believe me, take a look for your self:
What a wonderful experience to see these great players together. The great news for Australians is that the pair is coming to our shores this November, playing at Mountain Grass Festival in Harrietville, Victoria. Rob also mentioned to me that there are more shows as well, including Sydney and Melbourne, about nine dates in all he thought. At the time of writing, I do not believe these other shows have been announced. Look out for them!
This show tonight was part of Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time live broadcast and it was a treat to witness, Bill and The Belles were an energetic staple band throughout while Woody Pines livened up proceeding with some great jump blues and boogies. Award-winning banjo player Corbin Hayslett performed a couple of songs. We also had a farm report, some poetry and a recipe for Chess Pie. The night had everything!