JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — Acclaimed bluegrass guitarist Trey Hensley headed back to his hometown for a free concert Friday riding on a high after being named Guitarist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA).
Hensley and his collaborator, 15-time IBMA dobro player of the year Rob Ickes, were already scheduled to close out Jonesborough’s Music on the Square series. What they didn’t know was that the David Crockett High School graduate would be tearing it up in front of the home folks roughly 24 hours after receiving the prestigious award in Raleigh, N.C. and two days after celebrating his 33rd birthday.
The show, from 7-9 p.m., is on Main Street in Tennessee’s oldest town and is free to the public.
“I was thrilled to be nominated with four of my favorite guitar players, and to be recognized this year is a lifetime highlight,” Hensley told News Channel 11 of the IBMA award.
A Johnson City native who grew up in Telford, Hensley has carved out a reputation as a virtuoso bluegrass guitarist who first played on the Grand Ole Opry when he was just 11. Now an active singer-songwriter, he’s teamed with Ickes for four albums.
The pair released their fourth album, Living in a Song, early this year. It’s been the duo’s first to reach the top 10 on the Americana charts and was the second of theirs produced by renowned producer Brent Maher, who’s worked with the likes of the Judds, Merle Haggard, Tina Turner and Duke Ellington.
“We’ve had a super busy year touring this new album, with quite a few sold-out shows all over the country,” Hensley said. “It’s been amazing to see the folks singing along to these new songs.”
Hensley and Ickes have a busy fall ahead, continuing to tour the new album. They’ll also have a song they recorded with songwriter/guitarist Molly Tuttle on a Judds tribute album that will be released before the end of the year.