Ickes and Hensley combine country and bluegrass

Staff reports

The collaboration of Dobro master Rob Ickes and the talented, young singer/guitarist Trey Hensley is a dream duo that combines classic country and bluegrass-inspired music for the 21st Century. The veteran and the rising star will bring their fresh take on timeless sounds to the White Horse Black Mountain on Sunday, June 12.

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley combine old country instruments with new country sounds

Ickes is a 15-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Dobro Player of the Year award. A longtime member of the acclaimed bluegrass band Blue Highway, Ickes is recognized as a creative Dobro and lap steel player who thinks outside the box. He discovered  Hensley while recording in Tennessee’s Tri-Cities. His inviting the young musician to play on a Blue Highway track led to guest appearances on some live shows. The experience led to a duo studio project, "Before the Sun Goes Down," featuring expressive baritone vocals from Hensley that evoke country music legends like George Jones, Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty.

The duo's music runs the gamut from electric honky-tonk to Doc Watson-inspired bluegrass boogie, with virtuoso playing from both players that traces  a line between bluegrass and early country. Ickes and Hensley have earned respect in high places, including accolades from the late Merle Haggard himself.

Merle and them

Who: Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley

When: 7:30 p.m. June 12

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $12 advance, $15 door