Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley Join The Compass Records Family!

October 07, 2014

Photo: (L-R) Top: Garry West and Alison Brown; Bottom: Trey Hensley and Rob IckesCompass Records Signs Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley

New Album Slated for January 2015 Release

Compass Records is pleased to announce the signing of bluegrass and traditional country-infused duo Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley to the label. Their debut collaboration, BEFORE THE SUN GOES DOWN, slated for a January 2015 release, pairs the International Bluegrass Music Association's 15 time Dobro Player of Year, Ickes, with the up and coming singer/guitarist, Hensley, whom Ickes recently discovered in a stroke of good luck. Says Ickes, "Last year, when we were working on the latest Blue Highway album, THE GAME, we needed a scratch vocal done on one song so we could play live without having to go back and replace the vocal. The studio owner said he knew a kid nearby who was a great singer and could do it on short notice. So he called Trey in and he proceeded to sing the hell out of "My Last Day in the Mines", a song he'd never even heard before! And the way he sang it was so perfect that we couldn't imagine replacing it or changing anything about it, so his "scratch" vocal quickly became a "guest" vocal. Later, I saw some YouTube footage of him playing electric guitar and it was obvious he was as strong on guitar as he was on singing. So I told Trey that if there was ever anything I could do to help him in his career, I'd be happy to do it, and soon after, he and his wife moved to Nashville and we started playing the Station Inn on a regular basis."

The more the two musicians played together the more they became inspired to record a studio album together. BEFORE THE SUN GOES DOWN is the result of that effort and it is a unique project for the way it seamlessly blends contemporary bluegrass and the spare studio stylings of classic '60s and '70s country music. Hensley's voice is something of a miracle, a throwback to the great country singer icons of the genre's first golden era, at one moment evoking an early George Jones or Merle Haggard, and at another, Conway Twitty or Hank Snow. The fact that Hensley is still just in his early 20's makes the experience of listening to him even more astounding. His talent has drawn the attention of more than his fair share of Music Row heavy weights including Marty Stuart who said: "Trey Hensley is the real deal—I'm one of his biggest fans." Dobro master Rob Ickes is the perfect musical foil to Hensley's prodigious talent, both as a musician and producer. His Dobro ornaments Hensley's vocal lines with perfect finesse one moment and with  jaw-dropping fire the next, showing why he is one of the best to ever pick up the instrument. As a producer, Ickes has a solid hand and deep musical understanding which enables him to draw the connections between bluegrass and early country to create a cohesive and highly successful end result.  
Compass co-founder Alison Brown says, "We are delighted to be working with Rob and Trey. Individually they represent some of the best talent roots music has to offer. Rob's Dobro playing is an absolute force of nature and Trey is one of the most gifted singers and players I've ever heard. As a duo they are forging new territory, creating a sound that is steeped in tradition but utterly fresh and completely captivating." Ickes adds, "I've known Garry West and Alison Brown for years and I am very excited to be working with Compass. Their passion and dedication to Roots Music is second to none and I'm looking forward to seeing where this new venture takes us all!"

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley will be on tour in California and the Pacific Northwest in December:
12/4/14 – Royal Room – Seattle, WA
12/5/14 – Green Frog – Bellingham, WA
12/6/14 – Treehouse – Leavenworth, CA
12/7/14 – Little River Inn – Little River, CA
12/9/14 – Tallman Hotel – Upper Lake, CA
12/10/14 – TBA, Redding, CA
12/11/14 – Don Quixote's – Felton, CA
12/12/14 – Boulevard Music – Culver City, CA
12/13/14 – Powerhouse – Del Mar, CA
12/14/14 – TBA, Sonora, CA

Catch The Tannahill Weavers This Friday at Earlville Opera House!

October 07, 2014

The Tannahill WeaversThe Tannahill Weavers Return to Earlville Opera House!

"The music may be pure old time Celtic, but the drive and enthusiasm are akin to straight ahead rock and roll." -- Winnipeg Free Press

The Tannahill Weavers, one of Scotland's premier traditional bands, will bring their dynamic brand of Celtic music to the historic Earlville Opera House this Friday, October 10.

The Tannahill Weavers’ diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people. These versatile musicians have received worldwide accolades consistently over the years for their exuberant performances and outstanding recording efforts that seemingly can't get better...yet continue to do just that. 

The Tannahills have turned their acoustic excitement loose on audiences with an electrifying effect. They have that unique combination of traditional melodies, driving rhythmic accompaniment, and rich vocals that make their performances unforgettable. As the Winnipeg Free Press noted, "The Tannahill Weavers - properly harnessed - could probably power an entire city for a year on the strength of last night's concert alone. The music may be old time Celtic, but the drive and enthusiasm are akin to straight ahead rock and roll."

Born of a session in Paisley, Scotland and named for the town's historic weaving industry and local poet laureate Robert Tannahill, the group has made an international name for its special brand of Scottish music, blending the beauty of traditional melodies with the power of modern rhythms. Over the years the Tannies have been trailblazers for Scottish music, and their tight harmonies and powerful, inventive arrangements have won them fans from beyond the folk and Celtic music scenes. Only their enthusiasm and lively Celtic spirits can match the variety and range of the material they perform.
Catch the Tannahill Weavers with reflective ballads and foot-stomping reels and jigs at the EOH!  You won't be disappointed!

Mike Farris to Appear on ACL's 40th Anniversary PBS primetime Special

October 02, 2014

Mike Farris - Shine For All the PeopleTwo-Hour Primetime Special Premieres October 3rd on PBS
(Nashville, TN) October 2, 2014 - Mike Farris will be performing on the primetime special, Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years, airing Friday, October 3rd, 9-11pm ET on PBS Arts Fall Festival.
Mike Farris was recently chosen as one of Rolling Stone's "20 Best Things We Saw At Americana Music Festival" and described as a "cross between the crowd-stirring dynamism of a charismatic church band and the syncopated endurance of a New Orleans jam outfit." His latest studio project, SHINE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE, is out now on Compass Records and currently #14 on the AMA music chart. This long-awaited follow up to 2007’s critically acclaimed SALVATION IN LIGHTS includes both original material and Farris' trademark interpretations of traditional gospel steeped in the influence of rock, vintage Memphis soul and the swagger of New Orleans.

The landmark PBS series Austin City Limits (ACL) highlights four decades as a music institution with a primetime special honoring the program's milestone 40th anniversary. With guest hosts Jeff Bridges, Sheryl Crow and Matthew McConaughey, the two-hour broadcast features memorable moments from the trailblazing show's remarkable run, while the brightest stars in the series' history return to the ACL stage for dream duets and choice collaborations.

See Mike Farris perform "House Is Rockin'" with Kenny Wayne Shepherd in this ACL special.

Out Now: Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie

September 04, 2014

Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean RitchieCompass Records is pleased to announce the release of DEAR JEAN: ARTISTS CELEBRATE JEAN RITCHIE. Dear Jean is a 37 track, 2 CD set which features performances from an impressive array of Ritchie’s fans and admirers, all of whom have come together to honor the living legacy of the Kentucky-born singer/songwriter many refer to as "The Mother of Folk."

Contributors were intentionally selected to represent the diversity of genres and generations Ritchie has influenced throughout her life, with classic artists like Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Janis Ian, John McCutcheon, Kathy Mattea, Tim O’Brien, Robin and Linda Williams, Oscar Brand, and Dale Ann Bradley alongside up and coming talents like the Starry Mountain Singers, Rachael Davis, and Matt Brown. Standout tracks include  "The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore" (Robin and Linda Williams), "I’ve Got a Mother" (The Starry Mountain Singers), "Black Waters" (John McCutcheon, Kathy Mattea, Suzy Bogguss, Tim O’Brien), "Morning Come, Maria’s Gone" (Janis Ian) and "One I Love" (Judy Collins). Also included is a spoken word version of "I Celebrate Life" by Pete Seeger, one of his last recordings.

"As folk music continues to mourn the loss of its trailblazers, including Pete Seeger, who died earlier this year, Jean Ritchie doesn’t always get the respect and attention she deserves. Now in her early 90s and living in her native Kentucky, Ritchie is the subject of this two-CD tribute album honoring her work as a singer, songwriter, dulcimer player, and cultural preservationist." —The Boston Globe

"[A] uniformly outstanding tribute." 5 Stars (out of five) —Lonesome Road Review

“Jean Ritchie represents a living connection to a heritage of song, spanning an ocean and several generations.” —Fiona Ritchie, NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock

"It’s hard to imagine a more heartfelt and well-deserved tribute, and it should be considered an essential purchase for any folk or country collection." —Rick Anderson,

Justin Currie (Del Amitri) US Tour Dates In Support of New Album, Lower Reaches

September 02, 2014

Justin Currie’s Lower ReachesJustin Currie, the lead singer and songwriter of Scottish pop-rock band Del Amitri, is pleased to announce US dates this fall in support of his newest release, Lower Reaches

"It’s not every musician with the chutzpah to deliver a lyric like “Let me teach you how to write a song.”  But when Justin Currie makes that declaration, in the second song of his new album, "Lower Reaches," rest assured you’re about to get a master class.  Since the mid-1990s, when he led the hit rock band Del Amitri, Currie has wed words to music with a matchmaker’s art." — New York Daily News

September 14*  3rd & Lindsley - Nashville, TN
September 16*  Music Box Supper Club -   Cleveland, OH
September 18*  Club Cafe  -  Pittsburgh, PA
September 19*  Jammin’ Java  Vienna, VA
September 20*  Rough Trade NYC Brooklyn, NY
September 22*  Tin Angel  Philadelphia, PA
September 23*  City Winery  New York, NY
September 25*   SPACE - Evanston, IL  **SOLD OUT
September 26*  Schuba’s Tavern - Chicago, IL **SOLD OUT
September 27*   Dakota Jazz Club - Minneapolis, MN
September 30*   Kessler Theatre - Dallas, TX
October 1*  Cactus Cafe - Austin, TX
October 3  Last Exit Live - Phoenix, AZ
October 4  McCabe’s Guitar Shop - Santa Monica, CA
October 5*  Largo - Los Angeles, CA
October 8*  Sweetwater Music Hall - Mill Valley, CA
October 9 The Chapel - San Francisco, CA
* With support from The Mastersons

The new album is the follow-up to Currie’s 2010 critically acclaimed project The Great War which garnered 4 star reviews and earned Currie the moniker of "a songwriter’s songwriter" from Mojo. On Lower Reaches, Currie’s pop sensibilities and radio ready vocals are ever present, but it’s his songwriting that is perhaps most striking.  The new set of self-penned songs show Currie emerging as a writer of great depth and sensitivity, deftly examining life, relationships and the human condition, albeit delivered with the healthy dose of cynicism and wit that his fans have come to count on.

Currie wrote most of the songs on Lower Reaches during a solitary songwriting retreat on the Isle of Skye off the coast of Scotland. Hunkered down in a remote cottage in the shadow of The Cuillins, the mountain range that dominates the Hebridean island, Currie had no internet and no mobile phone, just an acoustic guitar, a piano, and a ghetto-blaster on which to record his ideas. "I suppose it was a bit like my Brill Building", he smiles. "You’re being your own boss and putting yourself under pressure to write."  Currie wrote fifteen songs in eleven days, something of a personal best in terms of rapid-fire delivery. When it came time to capture the music in the studio Currie traveled to Austin, Texas to work with producer Mike McCarthy (Craig Finn [The Hold Steady], Spoon, Patty Griffin, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead).  The process was, in Currie’s words, "a brilliant experience" and the resulting tracks have been heralded by the UK press as among the songwriter’s recent best.

As singer and main songwriter in Del Amitri, formed in Glasgow in 1983, Currie wrote many of their biggest hits including ‘Roll To Me’, ‘Always The Last To Know’, and ‘Nothing Ever Happens’. During their long and distinguished career, Del Amitri released four Top 10 albums, including ‘Waking Hours’ (1989), which sold over a million copies in the UK alone.

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