"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 entitledFirefly. 2011 saw new bassist Mike Georgin complete the quartet and a year of constant gigging that resulted in a Cincinnati Entertainment Award nomination for best Bluegrass band.
2012 finds the band finishing their 2nd album, Sawyer, and continuing to grow onstage, delivering a dynamic and powerful live show filled with captivating songs that catch the listener from the first. Citybeat Magazine's summation: "stellar songwriting"; "impeccable musicianship".
The writing is split between Pelz and Carnder. Jim Pelz, who earlier in his career was a touring jazz trombonist before focusing on the guitar, brings a lyrical brand of storytelling and a sophisticated harmonic sense to his songs that engages the listener on multiple levels. His guitar playing complements his writing with a unique and fluid sound devoid of the usual picker’s clichés, finding new paths over familiar landscapes.
Carnder, who spent the first half of his career as a jam-band bassist, writes songs often drawn from the traditional themes of bluegrass but arranged with the sensibilites of someone raised on equal parts Motown and classic rock. His mandolin playing reflects that broad range of influences as well, with a strong rhythmic drive, a deep pocket, and melodic lines as informed by jazz and rock as bluegrass.
Lauren Schloemer, a natural singer of great dynamic range, power, and depth, takes the songs of Carnder and Pelz and makes them her own, delivering emotional and riveting performances. Equally remarkable is her expressive and adventurous fiddle-playing, which seemlessly melds a beautiful, classically-influenced tone to a warm, country soul.
Bassist Mike Georgin, an award-winning Cincinnati music veteran completes the lineup, utilizing both acoustic upright and electric 5-string fretless bass. It’s Georgin’s electric work in particular that draws attention to itself, percolating with chords, slides, and counter-melodies that provide not only a striking foundation for the rest of the band, but another superb soloist as well.
Hickory Robot's music continues to expand in its scope and reach. They continue to grow numbers of devoted listeners, and their music continues to reveal the extraordinary depth and talent of this remarkable quartet.”