Rob Ickes with Blue Highway

Big Time
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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