Rob Ickes with Blue Highway

March 1, 2005

Hello, Mr. Ickes. It says here on your resume that you’ve played Dobro with Earl Scruggs, Tony Rice, and Dolly Parton. That’s all well and fine, but not surprising, considering you’re a bad-ass of the highest order. But lately I’ve been hearing things—crazy things. What’s this jibber-jabber going around that you’re actually getting session calls in Nashville that used to go solely to Jerry Douglas. I mean c’mon, everyone knows Jerry Douglas is the preeminent Dobro master. Haven’t you seen O’ Brother Where Art Thou? You have? Good. George Clooney is great. What’s that? Why no, I haven’t heard your new album, Big Time. Why don’t you play me a few cuts. Hmmm, you are good. Those arrangements of “Wayfaring Stranger” and “I Am a Pilgrim” are really fresh—and those Blue Highway guys make a hell of a backup band. Man, those unison Dobro/banjo lines are killing me—they’re so fast. Oh, I see you do “Lonesome Midnight Waltz.” My wife loves that tune. Wow, you sure are a lyrical son-of-a-gun. You make that weird-lookin’ guitar really sing, baby. Well, color me impressed, Mr. Ickes. Now could you just show me how in the world you play like that? Rounder. —Darrin Fox

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