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What It Is

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Album Review

As in 1999's Slide City, Rob Ickes again combines jazz and swing stylings with the more countrified leanings of the dobro. The results are mixed and, at times, meld into a too-smooth combo resembling light jazz. What It Is works best when Ickes loosens up a bit around the instrument's natural inclinations: the way he works the melody on "Killeen," which was inspired by the Texan town, seems to point toward a more string-based effort; a cover of Marc Johnson's "Union Pacific" further iterates Ickes' simpler but no less enjoyable leanings; and "Blues for Sammy," which was written in response to Charlie Parker's Savoy sessions, allows him to stretch out his abilities as a great technician of the instrument.

Biography

Born: 1967 in San Francisco , CA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Widely acknowledged as one of the masters of the Dobro or resonator guitar, Rob Ickes is an instrumentalist who has made a name for himself in bluegrass, country, and jazz. Born in San Francisco, California in 1967, Ickes was first exposed to bluegrass and old-timey music when he was a child, attending weekly jam sessions hosted by his grandparents. Ickes' family tried to interest him in playing the fiddle, but it didn't take. However, when he was 13, Ickes heard the Dobro work of the Seldom Scene's...
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What It Is, Rob Ickes
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