Grammy-nominated duo coming to Seymour

Grammy Award-nominated duo Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley are returning to entertain local fans.

The concert is set for 8 p.m. Nov. 12 at Rails Craft Brew and Eatery, 114 St. Louis Ave., Seymour.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the Jackson County Visitor Center, 100 N. Broadway St., Seymour, or online at

The event is sponsored by Crossroads Acoustic Entertainment Inc. of Seymour, the not-for-profit entity that hosts the annual Crossroads Acoustic Fest.

Shawn Busby, president of the Crossroads board, said a previous local Ickes and Hensley show was sold out.

“They have an enthusiastic local and national following, and we expect tickets to go fast,” he said.

Ickes is a 15-time recipient of Dobro Player of the Year honors from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and Hensley is a Tennessee-born prodigy who made his Grand Ole Opry debut at 11.

They are in the midst of a national tour in support of their latest album, “World Full of Blues,” which includes the Grammy-nominated tune “Before the Sun Goes Down.”

Guest artists on the CD include blues great Taj Mahal and country music legend Vince Gill.

White-hot picking and stone country vocals are still the driving force of the duo but now with added grit and a nod to the rootsier side of Americana. Ickes and Hensley wrote or co-wrote nine of the songs and put their own spin on two covers.

“Our songwriting was always present on previous records, but there were maybe three originals and the rest covers,” Hensley said. “We made a decision on this one to present more of our own material.”

Ickes contributes the instrumental “The Fatal Shore” and the cautionary “Thirty Days,” while Hensley offers the optimistic life-on-the-road song “Both Ends of My Rainbow.”

Hensley got the idea to write the lively “Nobody Can Tell Me I Can’t” after hearing a friend use that phrase in conversation.

“We knew we wanted a guest on the title song, and Taj Mahal was at the top of our dream list,” he said. “Working with Taj in the studio was a huge highlight for us.”

“Brown-Eyed Women” has the distinction of not only being one of the duo’s favorite Grateful Dead tunes but a career first for 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 has recorded a Dead song,” Hensley said.

Ickes grew up in a suburb of San Francisco, California, and discovered the dobro as a teenager. He later moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue session work for artists such as Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard and Earl Scruggs, co-founded the highly influential bluegrass group Blue Highway and ultimately won those 15 IBMA awards for Dobro Player of the Year.

Hensley grew up in east Tennessee and started singing in a gospel group when he was 6. 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.