Ripping reso and ferocious flattop for those who like it raw and real.

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley

World Full of Blues

If you love the sound of white-knuckle flatpicking and barking squareneck resonator, you’ll flip over World Full of Blues, the third album by Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. Dueling like Afghan kite fighters, and backed by upright bass, drums, percussion, B-3, and horns, the two acoustic virtuosos work the intersecting lines of blues, bluegrass, and traditional country while adding fresh moves of their own.

Fifteen-time IBMA Dobro Player of the Year, Ickes is a lap-slide monster with a silvery, singing tone and impeccable intonation. Drawing on such giants as Doc Watson, Clarence White, Tony Rice, David Grier, and Bryan Sutton, Hensley plays flattop with the ferocity of a hangry junkyard dog. He’s also a gifted singer who can bend notes and wrangle words like the late George Jones and Merle Haggard—clearly two of his vocal influences. Tired of country pop? This sonic moonshine will set you straight.

Must-hear tracks: “Brown-Eyed Women,” “World Full of Blues” with Taj Mahal

The trailer for World Full of Blues features blues legend Taj Mahal, who sings on the title track.


A bone nut being back-filed for proper string placement and correct action height.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to change your acoustic guitar’s tone and playability.

In my early days, all the guitars I played (which all happened to be pre-1950s) used bone nuts and saddles. I took this for granted, and so did my musician friends. With the exception of the ebony nuts on some turn-of-the-century parlors and the occasional use of ivory, the use of bone was a simple fact of our guitar playing lives, and alternative materials were simply uncommon to us.

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