Hickory Robot is an award-winning, energetic, newgrass quintet from Cincinnati that has established itself as one of the top acts in the region, with a powerful and dynamic live show featuring fantastic female vocals driving "stellar songwriting" and "impeccable musicianship". The Robot is on the rise!
"Hickory Robot hail from the fertile acoustic soil of Cincinnati, Ohio. The original trio of guitarist Jim Pelz, mandolinist Scott Carnder, and fiddler Lauren Schloemer came together in 2008 and by 2010 had released an album of critically-praised originals entitled Firefly. Citybeat Magazine noted the "stellar songwriting" and "impeccable musicianship". 2011 saw bassist Mike Georgin complete the quartet and a year of constant gigging that resulted in a Cincinnati Entertainment Award nomination for best Bluegrass band.
In October of 2012 the band released their 2nd album, Sawyer, to rave reviews, and was again nominated for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Bluegrass Band. In addition, Sawyer was nominated for Album of the Year.
Mike Breen of Cincinnati's Citybeat Magazine noted "...like (Alison) Krauss and her band Union Station, the playing is flawless and inspired, guided by great vocals and melodies...", and the Cincinnati Public Library's review of Sawyer stated that Lauren Schloemer's vocals "could stand shoulder to shoulder with not only any female in mainstream country, but in mainstream music."
2013 saw the band hitting the road and building a name throughout the region, playing over 80 shows throughout the Midwest, including the John Hartford Memorial Festival, where their song "Hartford's Bend" took home the top prize in the songwriting contest. The band also picked up their 3rd consecutive nomination for Best Bluegrass Band in the CEAs.
2014 promises to be an exciting year as the band adds a percussionist to the lineup, allowing them to more fully realize the studio versions of some fan-favorite material, and heading back into the studio to record the follow-up to Sawyer.
Notable performances & accomplishments:
Festivals & Events: John Hartford Memorial Festival, Fort Ancient Bluegrass Festival, Hamilton Co. Sizzlin' Summer Concert Series, Canoegrass (headliner), Oxford Wine Festival (headliner); Bluegrass on the Bandstand Concert Series, JHMF Fall Pickin' Party, Adjust Your Eyes Festival, Music for the Mountains II, Midpoint Music Festival; Fire Up the NIght, TIto's Oldtime Music Festival, One More Girl on Stage
Awards: Scott's song "Hartford's Bend" took 1st place in the 1st Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival Songwriting Contest, nominated for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Bluegrass Band for the 3rd consecutive year
Support shows: Goat Rodeo Sessions, Lumineers, John Cowan, Giving Tree Band
Nominated for a 2012 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Album of the Year for "Sawyer".
Nominated for a 2012 CEA for Best Bluegrass Band
Opened for Ralph Stanley at the Emery Theater, Midpoint Music Festival, MayFest
Nominated for a 2011 Cincinnati Entertainment Award in the bluegrass category.
Festivals & Events: Appalachian Uprising, Midpoint Music Festival, Rivertown Breakdown, Whispering Beard Folk Festival, Appalachian Heritage Festival, DylanFest, Goettafest, 8th St. Design Corridor Concert Series, Cincinnati Zoo Wild About Wine, Music For the Mountains CD release/benefit, Red Barn Radio
Support shows: ekoostik hookah at the Madison Theater; Larry & His Flask at the Southgate House
Selected to appear on the 2010 Midpoint Music Festival CD Sampler
Festivals & Events: Hamilton County Sizzlin Summer Concert Series, Cincinnati Zoos Wild About Wine series, WNKU Acoustic Lunch Concert Series, Sounds on the Towne Concert Series, Kenton Co. Library Music Series
Support shows: The Coal Men at the Southgate House
The band's debut CD, "Firefly", was released in July of 2010.
Their 2nd album, Sawyer, was released in October of 2012. Both albums are available on iTunes and have received airplay on college and public radio throughout the Midwest.
We primarily play original music. Ideally we prefer to play 2 1-hour sets per show, but can do 3 sets if required. Most sets have 10-12 songs per set. We tend to play 1 or 2 cover songs per set, and can range from classic bluegrass (Bill Monroe, Stanley Bros.), to country (Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton), to rock (The Band, Tom Waits, Grateful Dead) as well as songs by other roots/Americana acts (Gillian Welch, John Prine) and traditional fiddle tunes.