Category: I

Ickes, Rob


  • From Millbrae, California. Lives in Nashville.
  • Ickes is pronounced the same as “likes.”
  • First band: “Heartland” with Tony Furtado; also had a band in college called “Colusa” with Todd Phillips (named after a California gold-mining town).
  • Went to UC Davis and studied to become a veterinarian. Has a BA in biology.
  • Has toured with Weary Hearts, the Lynn Morris Band, Alison Krauss, others.
  • 1994, joined Blue Highway and has remained with this band throughout his career.
  • 1997, appeared in Steven Seagal movie “The Fire Down Below.”
  • 1997, released first solo project Hard Times (Rounder Records).
  • 2002, released What It Is album (Rounder Records).
  • 2004, released Big Time album (Rounder Records).
  • 2005, formed a jazz trio with Andy Leftwich and Dave Pomeroy called Three Ring Circle.
  • 2009, released Slide City album (Rounder).
  • 2009, released Road Song album (ResoRevolution).
  • 2013, won his 15th IBMA Award for Dobro™ Player of the Year. He also won in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
  • 2013, formed a duo with singer/guitarist Trey Hensley.
  • 2014, released an album with Dobro™ masters Jerry Douglas and Mike Auldridge (now deceased) called Three Bells (Rounder).
  • 2015, released Before the Sun Goes Down album with Trey Hensley (Compass Records). It was nominated for a Grammy Award (2016) in the Bluegrass category.
  • 2015, he announced his departure from Blue Highway (after 20 years).
  • 2016, released The Country Blues album with Trey Hensley (Compass Records).
  • 2019, released World Full of Blues album with Trey Hensley (Compass Records).
  • 2021, recorded an EP with guitarists Tommy Emmanuel and Trey Hensley.
  • 2023, released Living in a Song album with Trey Hensley (Compass Records).

Ida Clare


  • From Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Formed in 2014 by Lea Cockrell (guitar/vocals) at her coffee shop, calling themselves “Total Strangers.” Other members: Robin Thixton (banjo), Jim Wheatley (Mandolin) and Mark Miller (Bass)
  • 2017, they changed their name to Ida Clare.
  • Fun Fact: Lea Cockrell played in a band called New Horizon as a teenager in the early 80s. The banjo player for
    that band was Murrell Thixton who would eventually meet and marry banjo player Robin Thixton who became the banjo player with Ida Clare.
  • 2017, won first place at the inaugural band contest at the John Hartford Memorial Festival held in Bean Blossom, Indiana.
  • 2018, released their first self titled album (no label).
  • 2021, Nick Stevens (bass) joins the band. He owns Downtown Recording Studio in Louisville.
  • 2023, released Ida Two album (no label).



  • From Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia.
  • Formed in 1985.
  • Band members: Chris Long (guitar), Craig Jarvis (bass), Ron Seebaugh (banjo), Glenn Jarvis (fiddle), Bruce Jones (Dobro™) and Dustin Frame (mandolin).
  • They host two bluegrass festivals each year: The Poston Lake Bluegrass Festival in Guysville, Ohio, and the Blluegrass Winterfest in Ripley, West Virginia.
  • 2009, released Another Tyme album (no label).
  • 2011, released Tyme for Him album (no label).
  • 2011, released Life & Tymes album (no label).
  • 2013, released “Poor Mountain Home” album on Poor Mountain Records.

Inaba, Kazuhiro


  • From Osaka, Japan.
  • Began playing banjo at age 15, made first U.S. tour in 1982.
  • 1983, won banjo contest at Galax Fiddle Convention, Virginia.
  • 1993, released Goin’ Across the Sea album (Hay Holler).
  • 2000, released Dixie Dream album (Copper Creek).
  • 2003, released Teardrops on a Rose album (Copper Creek).
  • President of Office White Oak, a promotional agency in Osaka which promotes bluegrass music in Japan.

Indigo Roots


  • From Nashville.
  • A family band (siblings) featuring Bethany (fiddle), Victoria (mandolin), and Daniel (bass) Kelley.
  • They previously performed and recorded under other names: The Paper Dolls and Band of Kelleys. They chose their new name because indigo (the color) is a shade of blue (for bluegrass),
  • 2023, released several singles on their own label.

Infamous Stringdusters, The


  • Originally based in Nashville. Now Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Formed in 2005 by guitarist Chris Eldridge (son of Seldom Scene banjo player Ben Eldridge).
  • Original name of the group was The Stringdusters” but they found that another band in New York was using a similar name (The String Dusters). So they added “Infamous” to their name.
  • Eldridge (AKA “Critter”) graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Ohio).
  • Original Members: Eldridge (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Andy Hall (dobro), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Jesse Cobb (mandolin), and Travis Book (bass).
  • 2006, Eldridge left to work with Chris Thile (Punch Brothers) and was replaced by guitarist Andy Falco.
  • 2007, released Fork In The Road album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2007, won IBMA awards for Emerging Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (“Fork in the Road”) and Album of the Year (Fork In The Road).
  • 2008, released The Infamous Stringdusters album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2011, Chris Pandolfi gave the keynote address at the IBMA conference; band announced that it was no longer going to brand itself as a bluegrass band in order to widen its audience.
  • 2011, fiddler Jesse Cobb left the band.
  • 2012, released Silver Sky album (High Country Records).
  • 2014, released Let It Go album (High Country Records).
  • 2015, released “Undercover” album (High Country Records).
  • 2016, released Ladies & Gentlemen album (Compass) featuring female vocalists Claire Lynch, Lee Ann Womack, Sara Watkin, Aoife O’Donovan, Celia Woodsmith, others.
  • 2017, released Laws of Gravity album (Compass). They also released a live version of the album.
  • 2018, won the Grammy Award (Best Bluegrass) for Laws of Gravity album.
  • 2021, released Tribute to Bill Monroe album (Americana Vibes).
  • 2022, released Toward the Fray album (Americana Vibes).

Ingram, Kenny


  • From Dickson, Tennessee.
  • One of the top Scruggs-style banjo players.
  • 1971, at age 19 joined James Monroe and the Midnight Ramblers.
  • 1972, joined Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys.
  • 1973, joined Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass until Lester’s passing in 1978.
  • 1978, re-joined Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys.
  • 1981, worked with Curly Seckler and the Nashville Grass.
  • 1986-2001, retired from music
  • 2001, joined Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.
  • 2009, joined the Larry Stephenson Band.
  • 2012, appeared on Foggy Mountain Special: A Bluegrass Tribute To Earl Scruggs album (Rounder Records).
  • 2018, retired from performing.

Iron Horse


Isaac, Bo


  • From Wheelwright (Floyd County), Kentucky.
  • Began performing at the Kentucky Opry at age 5.
  • Has worked with Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Dave Evans & Riverbend, Ernie Thacker & Route 23 and Gerald Evans & Paradise.
  • 2005, recorded first album I’m Not Living Life (It’s Living Me), produced by Steve Gulley.
  • 2005, formed Bo Isaac and the The Wheelwrights.
  • 2009, joined Summertown Road.
  • 2012, formed Bo Isaac and the Rounders. Released “Dollar” album.
  • 2014, joined a part-time band called Mountain Jacks, the pre-show band at the Lumberjack Feud dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee four nights a week.
  • 2019, began hosting a bluegrass music radio program on Kool Hits 105.7 in Ashland, Kentucky.

Isaacs, Joe


  • From Big Hill, Kentucky.
  • 1988, formed (with his wife Lily) The Isaacs.
  • Before forming The Isaacs, Joe worked with Larry Sparks, The Stanley Brothers, Frank Wakefield and the Greenbriar Boys. He plays banjo and guitar.
  • 1970, Joe’s brother Delmer died in an auto accident, which led Joe and his wife Lily to devote their lives to singing Gospel music. Their first band was called The Calvary Mountain Boys. Next came Sacred Bluegrass (this group had a TV show in Hamilton, Ohio) and later the Isaacs.
  • 1995, recorded a duet album of gospel music with Ralph Stanley called Gospel Gathering (Freeland Records).
  • 1999, Joe left the Isaacs and has since recorded several solo projects including Dreaming Of Home (2003, Mountain Mill Entertainment). He and Lily divorced.
  • 2003, had open heart surgery.
  • 2010, Joe married Stacy York, a traditional bluegrass singer who has worked with the Cumberland Highlanders and the Hazel Holler Girls. They perform together as “Joe and Stacy Isaacs.”
  • 2011, John Bowman recorded a tribute to Joe Isaacs called Family Chain (Mountain Home Records).

Isaacs, The


  • From La Follete, Tennessee.
  • 1988, formed by Joe Isaacs, his wife Lily and three children Ben, Becky and Sonya.
  • Lily was born in Germany after WW2. Her parents were Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
  • 1998, Sonya toured with Vince Gill as a vocalist. During that time, Adam Steffey filled in on mandolin with the group.
  • 1998, album “Bridges” won the Dove Award for Bluegrass Album of the Year.
  • 1998, Joe and Lily were divorced and Joe began a solo career in music, recording several albums.
  • 1998, John Bowman (formerly with Doyle Lawson and Alison Krauss) joined the group, playing banjo, guitar and fiddle. He is married to Becky.
  • 2000, Adam Steffey playwas a member of the Isaacs for more than a year; left to re-join Mountain Heart.
  • 2001, Rickie Simpkins joined, playing fiddle. Stayed with the group for two years.
  • 2001, Became regulars on the Bill Gaither Homecoming Tour.
  • 2006, John Bowman retired from the group to teach at a private Christian school in LaFollette and to care for his (and Becky’s) children while the group is on the road. In 2010 he joined the Boxcars.
  • 2006, Kevin Haynie (banjo/guitar) and Jesse Stockman (fiddle) joined the group.
  • 2007, Sonya and Becky recorded with Dolly Parton.
  • 2007, Kevin Haynie left the band and was replaced by Troy Engle (banjo/guitar).
  • 2008, Sonya sang on Disney’s Hannah Montana movie soundtrack (starring Miley Cyrus).
  • 2020, The Isaacs were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2021, The Isaacs were invited to become members of the Grand Ole Opry.