Aberdeen is the place to be for fireworks on the Fourth of July. It’s also the place to be for musical pyrotechnics that holiday week, with “new/old” country phenom Michaela Anne performing Wednesday, July 3; and Grammy-nominated Opry veterans Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley taking the stage Sunday, July 7.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for both shows, with music beginning at 6:46 p.m.
“Desert Dove” is Michaela Anne’s first release as a new signee to Yep Roc Records. She joins label mates Mandolin Orange, Jim Lauderdale, Aoife O’Donovan, Chatham County Line, The Felice Brothers, Amy Helm, Tift Merritt and Kim Richey. That’s good company indeed for this child of a military family who grew up bouncing around the States and abroad.
Michaela Anne learned to cope with her lack of roots and having more questions than answers by writing songs. She explores life’s nuances, highlighting the gray areas, with depth, care and a strong dose of reality. “When I got to Nashville, I was told the ‘rules’ of songwriting,” she recounts. “I was informed that a woman in a country song can never be the victim, but she can also never be the perpetrator. That’s not real life. As a woman, sometimes you’re everything all at once, and I wanted to write about those real experiences.”
The album’s first single and video, “By Our Design,” premiered June 12 on Rolling Stone.
Sunday, July 7, finds old friends of the Rooster’s Wife in town with a batch of new material. Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley brought 25 songs to the studio for their new record; 12 made the cut. Ten are originals. A pair of select covers round out the dozen. Ickes and Hensley play jazz, blues, country and bluegrass. Their stamp is undeniable, and undefinable. The only constant is that the 15-time IBMA Dobro player of the year will stick to that instrument, while the guitar player will play his ax and sing.
When he was 11, Marty Stuart brought Trey Hensley onstage to play with Marty and Earl Scruggs, at the Grand Ole Opry. He was making music, and recording, with famous players before his voice changed. He has played onstage or opened for artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Steve Wariner and Peter Frampton. It was his singing on what was meant to be a scratch vocal on a Blue Highway album that first brought him to the attention of Rob Ickes. Ultimately, the vocal stayed on the album, Hensley moved to Nashville, and in partnership with Ickes, they began to make all manner of exciting music.
“We aren’t kidding when we say there will be fireworks in Aberdeen this week,” says a spokesman.
The Rooster’s Wife is a community arts organization dedicated to bringing the best in live music to the Sandhills. Home base is the listening room of Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St. Children are welcome with admission waived for the under-12 set. No BYOB, please; a full bar is available featuring Reverie Cocktails, and Southern Pines Brewing products. Dinner is available on-site. Annual membership may be purchased online or at the door.
Tickets for Michaela Anne are $10 for members; tickets for Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley are $20 for members. For more information, the complete schedule or to purchase tickets online, visit ticketmesandhills.com or call (910) 944-7502.