Sign up for newsletter
 

Ickes, Hensley announce new disc

Friday, August 2, 2019 – Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley will release their third album together, "World Full of Blues," on Oct. 4 on Compass Records.

Ickes is a 15-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Dobro Player of the Year, while Hensley is more of a country singer, who made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 11.

Ickes and Hensey go beyond the acoustic-centric sound of their previous two releases (including the GRAMMY-nominated "Before the Sun Goes Down") and juice things up with Hammond B3 and a horn section. Guests include bluesman Taj Mahal, who is on the title track, and Vince Gill, who joins the duo on The Grateful Dead's moonshiner song, "Brown-Eyed Women."

Brett Maher produced the set. The album was recorded live at Maher's Nashville studio, The Blueroom, with minimal overdubs. Maher says, "For me, this record was all about living in the moment...letting spontaneity rule." Despite the diversity in instrumentation and song selection-acoustic blues to roots rockers, "Hag" country to Duane and Dickey-style twin leads reminiscent of The Allman Brothers-the end result is a sound unified in its approach to the broad scope of roots music. "Ultimately we're the unifying factor," said Ickes. "It's obvious we're into all these different styles, but there's a commonality in the sound of our instruments that, blended with Trey's voice, makes it one sound."

Ickes and Hensley wrote or co-wrote nine of the along with two covers. Hensley said, "Our songwriting was always present on the last records, but there were maybe three originals and the rest covers. We made a decision on this one to present more of our own material."

"'World Full of Blues' felt important to me to include from the first time Rob talked about it" said Hensley. "Bill Scholer had written a version of the song, but Rob and I decided to rewrite it, with some help from our friend Jason Eady, to make it more modern, while keeping Bill's original intent intact: 'It's a crazy world and it feels like it's getting crazier all the time...' We knew we wanted a guest on this song, and Taj Mahal was at the top of our dream list. He loved it and agreed to sing a verse and play some guitar on it. Working with Taj in the studio was a huge highlight for us... what an amazing guy and an absolute legend in every sense."

"Brown Eyed Women" has the distinction of not only being one of the duo's favorite Grateful Dead tunes, but a career first for country legend Gill. "Vince is one of our big musical heroes and it was so awesome having him sing on a Grateful Dead tune, which was the first time he's recorded a Dead song."

Ickes grew up in a suburb of San Francisco and discovered the Dobro as a teenager when he borrowed a Mike Auldridge cassette from his brother. He later moved to Nashville to pursue session work for artists such as Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard and Earl Scruggs.
Hensley grew up in east Tennessee and started singing in a gospel group when he was 6 years old. A few years later, his parents took him to a bluegrass festival where the lineup included back-to-back sets by bluegrass legends Charlie Waller and Jimmy Martin. Hensley decided then and there that he wanted to play guitar. By the time he was 11, he had performed on the Grand Ole Opry playing guitar with Earl Scruggs and Marty Stuart.

When Scruggs played Knoxville not long after the Opry appearance, he invited the young Hensley to sit in. Ickes, who was playing Dobro in Scruggs' band at the time, remembers Hensley as "a very talented kid", but it would be roughly a decade before they crossed paths again. When they did, Ickes was blown away.

"I couldn't believe the guy," Ickes says. "I was just so excited about his music that I called everyone I knew in Nashville and told them about him. Then I suggested that we start playing at (Nashville's) Station Inn and treat it like a showcase for Trey, just to see what might happen. I used to tease him and say, 'I'll have you famous by Christmas.' Then, just one year later, our first record was nominated for a GRAMMY."

Tour dates are:
Aug. 8 - Nashville, TN - The Station Inn
Aug. 27 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle (w/ Hot Tuna Electric)
Aug. 28 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel (w/ Hot Tuna Electric)
Aug. 30 - Pelham, TN - The Caverns (w/ Hot Tuna Electric)
Aug. 31 - Copper Mountain, CO - Copper Country Music Festival (Band)
Aug. 31-Sept. 1 - Pagosa Springs, CO - Four Corners Folk Festival (Band)
Sept. 4 - St. Louis, MO - Sheldon Opera House (w/ Hot Tuna Electric)
Sept. 5 - Urbana, IL - ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival (Spontaneous Combustion w/ Luther Dickinson, Steve Dawson, & Molly Tuttle)
Sept. 6 - Frankfort, IL - Down Home Guitars
Sept. 7 - Urbana, IL - ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival
Sept. 10-15 - Nashville, TN - AmericanaFest (Band)
Sept. 19 - Lexington, KY - Kentucky Castle
Sept. 20-23 - Pomeroy, OH - Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp (Performances & Workshops w/ Jorma Kaukonen)
Oct. 4 - Guthrie, OK - Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival
Oct. 10-11 - Ft. Wayne, IN - Sweetwater Recording Master Class
Oct. 16 - Boise, ID - Arts Northwest Official Showcase
Oct. 17 - Boise, ID - Arts Northwest - Performance at New Frontier Touring Booth
Oct. 19 - Galax, VA - Blue Ridge Music Center
Oct. 21 - Nashville, TN (Private)
Oct. 23 - Burns, TN (Private)
Oct. 24 - Baton Rouge, LA - Red Dragon Listening Room
Oct. 25 - Mobile, AL - The Listening Room
Nov. 7-10 - Nashville, TN - ResoSummit
Nov. 13 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere (Roots & Branches Tour w/ The Gibson Brothers)
Nov. 14 - Baltimore, MD - Union Craft Brewing (Roots & Branches Tour w/ The Gibson Brothers)
Nov. 16 - Round Hill, VA - B Chord Brewing Company (Roots & Branches Tour w/ The Gibson Brothers)
Nov. 20 - Buffalo, NY - Buffalo Iron Works (Roots & Branches Tour w/ The Gibson Brothers)
Nov. 21 - Syracuse, NY - Westcott Theater (Roots & Branches Tour w/ The Gibson Brothers)
Nov. 23 - Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain Arts Center (Roots & Branches Tour w/ The Gibson Brothers)
Dec. 4 - Boulder, CO - Chautauqua Community House
Dec. 5 - Denver, CO - Cervantes' Other Side (w/ Mark Lavengood Band & Special Guests)
Dec. 7 - Carlsbad, CA - Museum of Making Music
Jan. 9, 2020 - Nashville, TN - The Station Inn
Feb. 3-10, 2020 - Miami, FL - Cayamo
Feb. 13, 2020 - Nashville, TN - The Station In

More news for Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

CD reviews for Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

The Country Blues CD review - The Country Blues
Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley go for the heart of the matter in "The Country Blues," their sophomore effort. The release offers gritty country-tinged songs, which place the talents of the two men on fine display. The duo is a combination of a grizzled bluegrass veteran (Ickes) and a relative young gun (Hensley). Ickes has fronted Blue Highway for many years and is one of a handful of top-ranked Dobro players in the music business. Hensley is a fresher entry (although he played on the »»»
Before the Sun Goes Down CD review - Before the Sun Goes Down
The first great album of 2015 has arrived, and it comes from a duo comprising a bluegrass master and an up-and-coming county vocalist. Dobro innovator Rob Ickes - 15 time IBMA Dobro Player of the Year and mainstay in Blue Highway, one of bluegrass music's venerable outfits - has paired his talents with the powerful voice of Trey Hensley, a relative unknown commodity who first came to notice when he appeared as a guest vocalist on Blue Highway's album of last year, "The Game. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tillis unlocks "Looking for a Feeling" "It had been a while since I'd given my fans any new solo music," Pam Tillis explains, when asked about the motivation behind recording her album "Looking for a Feeling." Until recently, Tillis mostly busied herself by recording and touring with... »»»
Hull takes "25 Trips" Sierra Hull would be the first to tell you that releasing a new CD in the teeth of a global pandemic is a challenge. "It's very strange...just adjusting to being home and knowing what that feels like. It's the most I've... »»»
Lewis (and her daughters) make beautiful music (occasionally) and carry on the legacy Linda Gail Lewis has several interesting bullet points on her lengthy resume. She released her first singles in 1963 at age 16, and her first solo album, "The Two Sides of Linda Gail Lewis," in 1969 when she was just 22; her follow up album wouldn't appear... »»»
Hancock shows he's still "Man of the Road" Wayne Hancock exhibits his well-defined self-deprecation while describing the nature of his vinyl/digital only release, "Man of the Road." "Yeah, greatest hits," he says with a raspy chortle, the sound that every smoke-filled, whiskey-soaked roadhouse he's ever loaded into would... »»»
With "Headlights," Della Mae turns it up Ten years on, Della Mae has covered a lot of ground in the world of bluegrass, and the band is meeting the challenges of building a sustaining, long-term career with its latest release "Headlights."... »»»
The Mavericks "Play the Hits" When recording its album "Play the Hits," The Mavericks approached this covers album in much the same way the band creates any of its other studio albums. "Above all, we're always trying to reach a certain musical... »»»
Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America... »»»
Neon Cross CD review - Neon Cross
Many records are touted as inspiring, but few albums actually live up to that billing by actually striking sentiments worthy of universal appeal. In Jaime Wyatt's case, there's never any doubt, »»»
Ghosts of West Virginia CD review - Ghosts of West Virginia
In a time when political views are pushing us further apart as a society, Steve Earle is one of the few artists reaching across that divide to seek common ground. In the case of his album, "Ghosts »»»
Tessy Lou Williams CD review - Tessy Lou Williams
Welcome country traditionalist Tessy Lou Williams who hails from Montana, the daughter of two musicians who emigrated from Nashville to Willow Creek, Mont. (population 210). Her parents toured with their »»»
Ready for the Horses CD review - Ready for the Horses
"It ain't for the faint of heart," Jarrod Dickenson croons on the lead-off track on "Ready the Horses," a rallying cry meant to inspire the reticent among us in this era of distrust »»»
Songs I Can't Live Without CD review - Songs I Can't Live Without
After a seven-year hiatus, Marshall Chapman is back with "Songs I Can't Live Without," her 14th release and eighth on her own label. The 71-year-old singer-songwriter-author-actress had intended to retire from music »»»
Copy That CD review - Copy That
Nine songs in, Sara Evans finally unleashes a country song that she wanted to cover. And it's one of the most copied songs at that - Hank's "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." The cut is a decided left turn from the rest »»»
Reunions CD review - Reunions
"It gets easier, but it never gets easy," Jason Isbell reminds us on the song "It Gets Easier." It's a simple couplet, utilizing small words, yet it expresses a big truth. Then, with the song's first verse, Isbell - a recovering alcoholic  »»»
Hold My Beer, Vol. 2 CD review - Hold My Beer, Vol. 2
As its title suggests, this 12-song Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen duet album is a mostly lighthearted affair. Whether the pair is only slightly concerned about unhealthy behaviors with "Habits" or jesting about the world's »»»
The K is Silent CD review - The K is Silent

"Hot Country Knights" is Dierks Bentley as you've never experienced him before. At least when it comes to the lyrics. Hot Country Knights - the alter ego of Bentley (aka Douglas "Doug" Douglason - he's one in the middle »»»

Here and Now CD review - Here and Now
For many years now, Kenny Chesney has been the number one yacht country artist; one never spotted far from an ocean or without an adult beverage in his hand. However, this album's title track expresses a much »»»
Good Souls Better Angels CD review - Good Souls Better Angels
"You can't rule me," Lucinda Williams declares on the song of the same name, the defiant lead-off song on her blistering new album "Good Souls Better Angels," her most archly determined effort yet. That says a lot, given the fact »»»