Based on a mutual love of bluegrass, country, blues, western swing, and other string band music of all kinds, the partnership of dobro player Rob Ickes (who also plays superlative lap steel guitar in the duo on occasion) and acoustic/electric guitarist Trey Hensley continues to delight and astound audiences of traditional American music around the globe. Since the duo decided to join forces and make their collaboration the focus of their touring and recording careers in 2015, after cutting their first album on Compass, Before The Sun Goes Down (nominated for a Grammy), they have continued to bring their music to venues near and far. They’ve performed in places as close to home as Nashville’s world famous Station Inn—a frequent and favorite showcase– and as far away as Denmark’s Tonder Festival as well as an impressive number of the most prestigious US music festivals, including Rockygrass, ROMP, Wintergrass, Bluegrass Underground, and the Freshgrass Festival, just to name a few. They have toured the European continent four times, as well as England, Ireland, and Australia. Their second album on Compass, Country Blues, released in 2016, testified to the growing diversity and expansion of their collaborative talents and repertoire. 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. Upcoming news includes Rob and Trey sharing a number of concert bills, beginning in the fall of 2017 with the great and influential mandolin master David Grisman and Australia’s fleet finger picking guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, both enthusiastic admirers of the duo.
Rob and Trey continue to leave their singular–and ever growing—footprint on the world of traditional music of America–be it bluegrass, traditional country, acoustic—and electric– blues, or jazz. Of their collaboration, Rob 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.” Whether they’re appearing as a duo, with a bass, or with bass, drums, and fiddle, they never fail to kick up some musical dust. The excitement at their gigs is palpable, it is contagious, and it is constant. Their sets tend to be a heady mix of the familiar and beloved and the new and unexpected. Trey’s list of powerful original songs has grown quickly since the two started working together, and Rob 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.