Expect a few Doc Watson songs on the setlist for this special trio performance. SMF Acoustic Music Seminar (AMS) clinician Bryan Sutton was born and raised near Asheville, North Carolina. A flatpicking virtuoso, Sutton has plied his talents with Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder, Hot Rize and Chris Thile’s How to Grow a Band (the precursor to Punch Brothers). A nine-time winner of the IBMA Guitarist of the Year Award, Sutton won a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for a duet with Doc Watson. Guitarist Jack Lawrence was Doc Watson’s performing partner for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Watson, Lawrence played with The New Deal String Band and Bluegrass Alliance before forming a duo with Joe Smothers. Bassist T. Michael Coleman spent much of his life touring with Doc and Merle Watson. Later, he performed with the Seldom Scene and Chesapeake.
Based on a mutual love of bluegrass, country, blues, Western swing and string band music of all kinds, dobro and lap steel specialist Rob Ickes and guitarist Trey Hensley formed a partnership in 2015 after their debut album, Before The Sun Goes Down, was nominated for a Grammy. Since then, the duo has performed at music festivals across America as well as venues in Europe, England, Ireland and Australia. Ickes grew up in California’s Bay Area and cut his teeth on traditional bluegrass before moving to Nashville in the early ‘90s where he co-founded the highly influential bluegrass group Blue Highway, and won 15 IBMA Awards for Dobro Player of the Year. A Tennessee native, Hensley was 11 years old when Marty Stuart brought him onstage to play with him and Earl Scruggs at the Grand Ole Opry.
“Two musical phenoms.”