MountainGrass festival announce headliners Rob Ickes Trey Hensley
MountainGrass Festival organisers have revealed a coup with the announcement that Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley will headline the 2016 event – 18 to 20 November. (Mandolinist Mike Compton has already been announced)
I stumbled upon Ickes at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Festival, Raleigh North Carolina, in 2013. He was conducting a dobro workshop (see above pic.) in one of the open areas of the Sheraton Convention Centre and I was astounded by his technical knowledge and playing skills. Later on that day, I started talking to a Swedish bluegrass fan who had come all the way to Raleigh and he opined that Ickes was the best dobro player in the world.
Since then I have caught up on his decorated career – a founding member of the crack outfit Blue Highway and, as an active session player and touring musician, he has collaborated with Charlie Haden, Merle Haggard, Earl Scruggs, Tony Rice, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, David Lee Roth and Dolly Parton. He has won the IBMA‘s Dobro Player of the Year award for a record-setting fifteenth time in 2013 and is the most recognised instrumentalist in the history of the IBMA awards.
Recently, he and Jerry Douglas have contributed to Three Bells, a “dobro trio” CD featuring the final recordings of guru Mike Auldridge, and last year released a duo album with Hensley (Before the Sun Goes Down) which was Grammy-nominated for Best Bluegrass Album.
Trey Hensley is talented both as a vocalist and guitarist. Before the Sun Goes Down was recorded mostly live, with minimal overdubs, few takes and with all the musicians in one room in only a few days of studio time. Here’s a taste of what they will be doing live at Harrietville this November.