Rob will be one of the instructors for the “Wintergrass Intensives” this year. Thursday, February 24, 1-4 pm. For more info, click on this link-
Guitar Player Magazine weighs in with Rob Ickes on the cover, along with a 12-page feature by Matt Blackett, in the August issue, on newsstands now. More here
From the February 2009 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine:
ROB ICKES — CONTEMPORARY DOBRO ARTISTRY — Mel Bay MB21785CDVD. (Mel Bay Publications, #4 Industrial Dr., Pacific, MO 63069, .)
At quick glance, you might think this is an instructional DVD, but it’s not entirely. It’s a jam with Andy Leftwich on mandolin for ten tunes and the remainder are with jazz pianist, Michael Alvey. The range of music encompasses traditional fiddle tunes to jazz standards. Ickes expands the reach of resonator guitar as no other exponent of that instrument has done so far. His harmonic development tied to his melodic explorations on classic jazz and well-worn country favorites displays his limitless vision for the instrument.
The DVD opens with Ickes and Leftwich jamming intensely on war horses such as “Angeline The Baker” and “Wheel Hoss” mixed with original tunes titled “Monrobro” and “Sanford and Son.” They explore the nuances of each tune and the emotion inherent in each tune, and with “Blackberry Blossom,” they are off to the races.
On “Jack’s BBQ Blues,” Michael Alvey comes in and Leftwich goes out. Alvey lays down a barrel house vamp on the piano, supporting Ickes’ melodic machinations and adding his own touches to each performance. With Alvey’s presence things take a more jazz-tinged turn and this blues helps segue toward more sophisticated melodic and harmonic explorations. Ickes has shown in the past he is quite capable in this setting as he explores the melodies, gaining a surprised depth of harmonic voicings tuned in open chord and using a bar to obtain his note choices. “September Song,” “Lullaby Of Birdland,” “Some Other Time,” and “Stars Fell On Alabama” are all noteworthy.
The DVD closes with an interview with Ickes where he answers questions that have obviously been edited out, so we hear just his answers to the questions. He talks about his guitars and about his thoughts on the music. Accompanying the DVD is a CD containing all of the musical tracks on the DVD. This is a very nice package with lots of great music that will appeal to more than just resonator guitar fans and fans of Rob Ickes. It could well bring new fans to the fold. – RCB (Robert C. Buckingham)