Rob Ickes And Trey Hensley Release Full-length Album Living In A Song

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Friday, February 10, 2023

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley along with Compass Records are pleased to announce the release of their brand new full-length album, Living In A Song, available everywhere today. Known widely as six-string virtuosos—or “bluegrass aces” according to Rolling Stone—Ickes and Hensley made a conscious effort on this release to spotlight their songwriting chops by collaborating with and playing homage to some of Nashville’s finest songwriters. There’s no doubt in anyone’s minds that Ickes and Hensley can hang in the highest realm jam circles, which has been evident since day one of their recording and touring career, but the lesser known (but just as established) side to this duo is their love of, and obsession with, great songs. They love to sing them, they love to record them, they love to write them, and fans will love to listen to them. Click here to press play on the entirety of Living In A Song.

On tour: Ickes and Hensley’s lengthy Living In A Song Tour across the United States kicks off tonight with a sold-out show at The Down Home in Johnson City, Tennessee and Sat. Feb. 11 at City Winery in Nashville, Tennessee (see below for a current list of tour dates).

Making the record: Ickes and Hensley re-enlisted Grammy Award-winning producer Brent Maher (The Judds, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson) for the project and wrote 30 songs, picking the best to record. Ickes and Hensley 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. The results of their collaboration show the depth of their musicianship and are nothing short of stellar.

The songs: The title track, “Living In A Song,” grew out of their experiences as touring musicians, and according to Hensley, the song practically wrote itself after a long day on the road driving through Ohio. When Hensley digs into the lyrics there is no question that he has lived the story he is telling, lifted up even further when Ickes’ tenor harmony enters the chorus. “Deeper Than A Dirt Road” is a radio-friendly, feel-good paean to rural living, evoking life in the tiny East Tennessee town where Hensley was raised. And the duo’s rendition of “Way Downtown” draws its inspiration from Doc Watson’s version recorded 50 years ago on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken album, giving the duo a chance to trade some tasty licks with fiddle virtuoso Stuart Duncan.

Inspiration: Life’s challenges play a key role in the inspiration for Living In A Song. “Is The World Still Turning” was the first song written for the project and is a gorgeous broken-hearted love song inspired by the historically unprecedented shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic. “I Thought I Saw A Carpenter” is another heartfelt ballad, inspired by Ickes’ father’s words as he lay dying from cancer; the emotion that Ickes captures in his Dobro solo is as poignant as any vocal. The album closes with “Thanks,” a track reminiscent of early Johnny Cash. Hensley wrote words to the melody penned by his friend Lyle Brewer and once he started working on it found that the song arrived quickly, giving him the opportunity to reflect on his love for his family as he put pen to paper. The demo version of the track had such a great feel that it ended up being the master, with producer Maher playing “percussion” on the back of an old Gretsch guitar.

Previous singles: In January, the duo released “Moonshine Run” as a single which is a spirited, full-band ode to America’s favorite clear liquor. Rolling Stone championed the track by noting that it “crackles with outlaw attitude and a swampy groove.” While much of Living In A Song spotlights the duo's proficiency on acoustic guitar and dobro, “Moonshine Run” finds Ickes and Hensley ripping on lap steel and electric guitar in addition to their signature un-amplified instruments. The song that began as Hensley’s collection of stories was finished with Ickes and prolific songwriter Thomm Jutz. The unison vocal and guitar lick that closes out each chorus bring the duo as close to classic rock as they may have ever been. The aforementioned title track was released with the album’s announcement in December of 2022.

Living In A Song Tracklist:

Living In A Song

Deeper Than A Dirt Road

Backstreets Off Broadway

Way Downtown

I’ve Given All That I Can Take

Moonshine Run

Just Because

I’m Working On A Building

Is The World Still Turning

Louisiana Woman

I Thought I Saw A Carpenter


Catch Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley On Their Living In A Song Tour:

Feb. 10 - Johnson City, TN - The Down Home

Feb. 11 - Nashville, TN - City Winery

Feb. 16 - Knoxville, TN - Barley’s

Feb. 17 - Cartersville, GA - Private Event - The Booth Museum’s Boots & Saddles Pre-Gala Party

Feb. 18 - Decatur, GA - Eddie’s Attic

Feb. 22 - Vienna, VA - Jammin’ Java

Feb. 23 - Philadelphia, PA - City Winery

Feb. 24 - Tivoli, NY - Kaatsbaan Cultural Park

Feb. 25 - Northampton, MA - The Parlor Room - Signature Sounds Presents

Feb. 26 - Portsmouth, NH - The Music Hall Lounge

Feb. 27 - New York, NY - City Winery

March 4 - Nashville, TN - Grand Ole Opry

March 16 - Jackson Hole, WY - The Silver Dollar Showroom - The Wort Hotel

March 17 - Bozeman, MT - Live At The Divide

March 22 - Winston-Salem, NC - Barn at Reynolda Village - “More Barn” Concert Series

March 23 - Shelby, NC - The Earl Scruggs Center - Center Stage Concert Series

March 24 - Raleigh, NC - Private Event

March 31 - Phoenix, AZ - MIM: Musical Instrument Museum

April 1 - Tucson, AZ - Tucson Folk Festival

April 14 - St. Petersburg, FL - Craftsman House

April 15 - Winter Park, FL - Gram Parsons Derry Down

April 16 - Sarasota, FL - Fogartyville

May 6 - Pinewood, SC - BirdFest

May 11 - Athens, AL - Fiddlers Concert Series

May 20 - Sevierville, TN - Bloomin’ BBQ and Food Festival

June 9 - Pagosa Springs, CO - Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival

Oct. 14 - Williamsburg, KY - River Stomp Bluegrass Festival

For all dates and ticket information, please visit