Rodney Crowell with special guest Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley
Born and raised in Texas, two-time GRAMMY-winner Rodney Crowell arrived in Nashville in the early 1970s, coming to prominence first as a writer before establishing himself as a critically acclaimed solo artist in his own right. With 15 number one hits under his belt and tracks recorded by everyone from Emmylou Harris and Johnny Cash to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, it would be difficult to overstate Crowell’s impact on roots music over the past five decades. In 2003, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame; in 2006 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting from the Americana Music Association; in 2017, he was honored with ASCAP’s prestigious Founder’s Award; and in 2019, he was presented with the Academy of Country Music’s Poet’s Award. In addition to his prolific output as an artist and producer, Crowell also found time to become a celebrated author, too, publishing a memoir and a lyrical retrospective to widespread praise. Along the way, NPR declared him the “literarily inclined elder statesman of the Americana scene,” while Rolling Stone hailed him as a “country music trailblazer,” and the New York Times proclaimed that his songwriting “gets better and sharper with age.”
Produced by Jeff Tweedy, Crowell’s brilliant new album, The Chicago Sessions, is as incisive, engaging, and vital as ever, touching on everything from love and mortality to race and religion as it balances careful craftsmanship with joyful liberation at every turn.
ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY
"Two musical phenoms" -NPR
"Bluegrass aces...Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley shred..." -Rolling Stone
"(Rob and Trey are an) acoustic firestorm (who) are changing the rules" -Vintage Guitar
"Two of the finest musicians playing today" -No Depression
Take a 15-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Dobro Player of the Year and a Tennessee-born guitar prodigy called “Nashville's hottest young player” by Acoustic Guitar magazine, and you have Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, a GRAMMY®-nominated powerhouse acoustic duo that has electrified the acoustic music scene around the world. Acoustic Guitar describes their sound as "steel-string bluegrass with all the intensity of rock 'n' roll."
Known for their white-hot picking and world class musicianship as six-string virtuosos, as well as their soulful stone country vocals, Ickes and Hensley cleverly and uniquely meld bluegrass, country, blues, rock, jamgrass, and string band music of all kinds to create a signature blend of music that defies restrictions of genre (as heard on their new record, Living In A Song, released on February 10, 2023). With Living In A Song, Ickes and Hensley made a conscious effort to spotlight their songwriting chops by collaborating with and paying homage to some of Nashville's finest songwriters. They made a conscious decision to lean the music in a classic country direction, with some elements of Americana and bluegrass thrown in for good measure.
As a duo, Ickes and Hensley have shared the stage or collaborated with Tommy Emmanuel, Taj Mahal, Vince Gill, David Grisman, Jorma Kaukonen, Hot Tuna, Marty Stuart, and Steve Wariner, among many others.
Ickes, the most decorated musician in IBMA Awards history, grew up in California's Bay Area. A former founding member of bluegrass "supergroup" Blue Highway and highly sought-after Dobro master, Ickes has graced the recordings and concerts of artists such as Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Earl Scruggs, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Tony Rice and several others.
Hensley, a native of Jonesborough, Tennessee, earned IBMA Guitar Player of the Year nominations in 2020, 2021, and 2022. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 11 (thanks to an invite from Marty Stuart with Earl Scruggs). Hensley's musical influences are as far-ranging as The Allman Brothers Band, Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and he has had the opportunity to perform with the likes of Johnny Cash, Peter Frampton, and Old Crow Medicine Show, among many others.
All four of the Compass Records albums released by Ickes and Hensley have received widespread acclaim, including their debut Before The Sun Goes Down, which garnered a GRAMMY® nomination, The Country Blues, and World Full Of Blues, produced by GRAMMY®-winning producer Brent Maher (The Judds, Kenny Rogers, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson), which features collaborations with Vince Gill and Taj Mahal. The new Ickes & Hensley record, Living In A Song (once again produced by Maher), highlights the duo's songwriting chops like never before and is receiving glowing reviews. Among notable side projects, Ickes and Hensley teamed with guitar master Tommy Emmanuel for a very special EP, Tommy Emmanuel - Accomplice Series Vol. I With Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley (released at Tommy's invite via his label, CGP Sounds) to critical acclaim. Ickes and Hensley have also recorded several songs with the legendary Taj Mahal, and Taj invited them to go on tour and be part of his first-ever Taj Mahal Sextet.