DT: MAY 6, 2021






Acclaimed and Grammy®-nominated acoustic guitarist, singer and songwriter TOMMY EMMANUEL—one of five people ever named a CPG (Certified Guitar Player) by his idol, music icon Chet Atkins—today (May 6) shares the video for “Copper Kettle.” It’s the third single + video from the EP ACCOMPLICE SERIES VOLUME 1 WITH ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY, out tomorrow May 7 on CGP SOUNDS. Watch the Zach Pigg-directed video here with TOMMY and powerhouse Grammy®-nominated acoustic duo Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley in the studio in Nashville when they recorded the EP. Pre-save and pre-add the EP here.

The “Copper Kettle” video was premiered yesterday at Bluegrass Today which praised the EP: “It features these three virtuoso instrumentalists in a spontaneous, freewheeling recording…” “Copper Kettle” follows the album’s first two videos, Flatt Did It and Raz-Ma-Taz Polka,premiered at The Bluegrass Situation and Glide Magazine, respectively.

ACCOMPLICE SERIES VOLUME 1 WITH ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY was born out of the deep admiration the musicians have for each other, also underlined by shows they’ve played together intermittently for nearly five years, the first of which was May 5, 2016 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco.

Creative sparks fly on the EP, which radiates good vibrations with white-hot picking virtuosity on acoustic guitars and Dobro—it’s all a welcome sanctuary from these upside-down times. There are three cover songs—the Chet Atkins/Doc Watson song “Flatt Did It,” Buck Owens’ “Raz-Ma-Taz Polka” and the standard “Copper Kettle”—plus a rendering of the Emmanuel composition, “It’s Never Too Late,” originally released in 2015.

To support the EP, TOMMY, ROB & TREY have announced they’ll perform together at the sold-out Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, May 8. The performance will be broadcast worldwide on www.wsmradio.com at 7 PM CDT that same night.

They’ve also announced a ticketed livestream event via nugs.tv for Sunday, May 9 at 8 PM CDT to emanate from 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville. Purchase tickets here.



—Congratulations on the recording of the EP. It emanates good vibrations and an easy charm…with a whole lotta virtuosity… quite a welcome sanctuary from these upside-down times. Sounds like it was a lot of fun to record. What are your feelings about the sessions?

The sessions were very spontaneous and, in fact, I suggested “Flatt Did It” and “Copper Kettle” as pieces on the day we recorded them. That’s how it came about. It was very spontaneous.

—What led to this collaboration with Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley and what are your thoughts about their playing? There’s a lot of creative sparks here.

I have been a fan of Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley for a long time. I love working with them. There’s a lot of creativity around us, and those guys are willing to just fly it. I need people like that to just bounce off and have a creative time with.

—There are songs by Chet Atkins, Buck Owens, one by Atkins + Doc Watson, and the final one on the EP is an older one of your songs that was recently recorded for ‘The Best of Tommy Songs’ album. Why were these particular songs chosen?

They were chosen because we didn’t have a lot of time. That’s what really helped this project come together. We could record the whole thing in just one day. I also felt “Flatt Did It” was a wonderful piece that is simple, and it’s one of Chet’s tunes. It’s a tribute to Lester Flatt of course. And the “Raz-Ma-Taz Polka” was fun and a part of my childhood. We had four songs to do and each one had to be different and special.

—Of the four songs, two are you with Rob and Trey; there’s one with you and Rob; and another with you and Trey. Can you talk about why two of the songs were done as a trio and the other two as a duo?

The reason I recorded two songs as a trio is to feature both the guys and for us to do that. And then I wanted a song each with Rob and Trey. There would have been nothing for Rob to do in “Raz-Ma-Taz Polka.” It’s just me and Trey. And then in “It’s Never Too Late,” Rob and I have everything covered in that song so there would have been nothing for Trey to do. That’s how that came about.

—The first track and video from the EP is “Flatt Did it.” Can you talk about recording this one?

As I said before, “Flatt Did It” is a tribute to Lester Flatt and some of his classic kind of licks. We had the film crew in there for the day and they just rolled the cameras. We actually just played and ignored them almost.


—Congratulations on the recording of the EP. It emanates good vibrations and an easy charm…with a whole lotta virtuosity…quite a welcome sanctuary from these upside down times. Sounds like it was a lot of fun to record. What are your feelings about the sessions?

Rob: Well, it’s always great to work with Tommy.  He’s such a great artist, and such a great person. There are always a lot of sparks flying when we play together, and all three of us are into lots of different musical genres, so that’s always fun to explore different musical territories when we get together.

Trey: Getting to pick with Tommy and Rob any time is always a blast! Working in the studio with Tommy was so much fun, which I think is evident throughout this EP. The great vibe in the studio that day is prominent in the recordings. It was really just the three of us hanging out and playing tunes…what could be more fun?


—What led to your collaboration with Tommy and what are your feelings about his playing?

Rob: When Trey and I first started working together, I just thought it would be a great combination to tour with Tommy. I mentioned this to our booking agent, and he told me that a good friend of his had just started managing Tommy and he would reach out to him. A few days later we had some offers to open some shows with Tommy on the West Coast, and they fit in perfectly to our schedule that was already in place out there. Our first show was in San Francisco, and it was just an amazing night! We’ve been friends ever since, and we have done a lot of shows together. Tommy is the “whole package.” Obviously, he’s a brilliant technician, yet he always puts so much emotion and feeling into it. His love for the guitar comes out of that instrument and really has a profound effect on people–myself included.

Trey: Rob and I have worked with Tommy several times through the years, which is always amazing. I mean, Tommy is definitely one of my biggest guitar heroes and to be able to call him a friend has been such an incredible thing. Getting to record this EP with Tommy is one of the proudest moments of my musical career for sure. Tommy is the best. His playing is the high-water mark that all of us guitar players strive for.  To work with such a legendary and important musician is just insanely cool. And he’s the nicest dude on the planet.

—Two of the songs here were recorded as a trio, and the other two as a duo. There’s a lot of creative sparks here. Can you talk about your experience of playing with Tommy?

Rob: I remember the first night we played with Tommy I had mentioned that I loved the title cut on his new album at the time called, “It’s Never Too Late.” He asked if I wanted to play it on stage that night and I said “sure!” What a moment, it felt so great to play that one on stage. His rhythm is impeccable, and I just felt like I was riding on a really great groove that I could not fall out of! We’ve played that same song live many times since then, so it’s great to document it on this record.  Such a beautiful piece.

Trey: The song that Tommy and I play together is a Buck Owens Polka tune. The first show that Rob and I played with Tommy was in San Francisco, and Tommy had just played in Bakersfield, so the conversation immediately went to Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Tommy played a bunch of those polka tunes during his soundcheck. So, when Rob and I played on the Tommy Emmanuel/David Grisman tour a year or so later, Tommy and I jammed on “Raz-Ma-Taz Polka” after one of the shows and ended up playing it on the show the next day. We’ve played that one a ton since then, so it’s cool to have it on tape! I love playing it with Tommy…and the energy is always through the roof. I’d like to think Buck (up there in heaven) digs it too…

—The first track and video from the EP is “Flatt Did it.” Can you talk about recording this one?

Rob: This song comes from an album that Chet Atkins did with Doc Watson. I love to hear Tommy and Trey play together. There’s a great respect between the two of them. They are both so brilliant. It’s great to hear them feeding off each other. And this song is just the perfect vehicle for a Dobro, so I’m enjoying the whole thing!

Trey: Yeah, this one was Tommy’s idea, and it’s a tune from the Doc Watson and Chet Atkins duo record. Rob and I both have a bluegrass background, and this song was written with the great bluegrass icon Lester Flatt in mind. (Hence the title.)  It really was a natural fit and recording it with Tommy was so much fun!

Full Track List for Accomplice EP #1:

1. Copper Kettle (featuring Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley)

2. Raz-Ma-Taz Polka (featuring Trey Hensley)

3. Flatt Did It (featuring Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley)

4. It’s Never Too Late (featuring Rob Ickes)

L-R: Trey Hensley, Tommy Emmanuel, and Rob Ickes
Photo Credit: Brian Penix


Artist: Tommy Emmanuel:
Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen



TOMMY EMMANUEL has achieved enough musical milestones to satisfy several lifetimes. At the age of six, he was touring regional Australia with his family band. By 30, he was a rock n’ roll lead guitarist burning up stadiums in Europe. At 44, he became one of five people ever named a CPG (Certified Guitar Player) by his idol, music icon Chet Atkins. Today, he plays hundreds of sold-out shows every year from Nashville to Sydney to London. He’s piled up numerous accolades, including two Grammy Award nominationstwo ARIA Awards from the Australian Recording Industry Association (the Aussie equivalent of the Recording Academy); repeated honors in the Guitar Player magazine reader’s poll including a cover story for their August 2017 issue; a cover feature for Vintage Guitar’s July 2020 issue; and was Music Radar’s reader’s poll #1 winner of the Ten Best Acoustic Guitarists in The World (December 2019). A noted fingerstyle guitarist, EMMANUEL frequently threads three different parts simultaneously into his material, operating as a one-man band who handles the melody, the supporting chords and the bass all at once. His talents, which translate in any language, carry him to the far corners of the globe, but EMMANUEL never plays the same show twice, and he improvises big chunks of every date. That leaves him open to those technical imperfections, though they also provide some of the humanity to an other-worldly talent. On May 8, 2020, he released a newly recorded career-spanning double album, THE BEST OF TOMMYSONGS, via CGP Sounds/Cruzen Street Records). Watch the album trailer here which focuses on TOMMY’s unique ability to tell stories without words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SOQEMWYAQ4&feature=youtu.be

L-R: Trey Hensley, Rob Ickes
Photo Credit: Chad Jenkins


Take a 15-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Resophonic Guitar Player of the Year and a Tennessee-born guitar prodigy called “Nashville’s hottest young player” by Acoustic Guitar magazine, and you have Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, a powerhouse acoustic duo that has electrified the acoustic music scene around the world. Known for their white-hot picking and world class musicianship, as well as their soulful stone country vocals, the GRAMMY® nominated duo cleverly and uniquely melds bluegrass, country, blues, rock, jamgrass, and string band music of all kinds to create a signature blend of music that defies restrictions of genre. NPR has called Ickes and Hensley “two musical phenoms”; Vintage Guitar raved they’re an “acoustic firestorm” who “are changing the rules”; Acoustic Guitar describes their sound as “steel-string bluegrass with all the intensity of rock ‘n’ roll” and No Depression observed they’re “two of the finest musicians playing today.” Ickes and Hensley have shared the stage or collaborated with Tommy Emmanuel, Taj Mahal, Vince Gill, David Grisman, Jorma Kaukonen, Marty Stuart, and Steve Wariner—all admirers of the duo.  Ickes, former founding member of bluegrass “supergroup” Blue Highway and highly sought-after Dobro master, has graced the recordings and concerts of artists such as Earl Scruggs, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Tony Rice and more. Hensley, who earned his first IBMA Guitar Player of the Year nomination in 2020, made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 11 (thanks to an invite from Marty Stuart with Earl Scruggs) and has appeared on stage with the likes of Johnny Cash, Peter Frampton and Old Crow Medicine Show.  All three of the albums released by Ickes and Hensley have received widespread acclaim, including their debut Before The Sun Goes Down, which garnered a GRAMMY® nomination, and the combo’s most recent release World Full of Blues, which features collaborations with Vince Gill and Taj Mahal.

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