For 15 years as ilyAIMY (i love you And I Miss You), Rob Hinkal and Heather Aubrey Lloyd have played everything from bait shops to biker weeks to clothing-optional resorts nationwide. Their energetic brand of new folk garnered honors from Kerrville Folk Festival, National Association for Campus Activities, the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Most recently, they are repeat Washington Area Music Association Winners for Best Contemporary Folk Group. They engage audiences with humor and award-winning narrative songs that pair an unforgettably soulful and powerful female vocalist with a percussive, clawhammer-like guitarist." Their infectious energy and rapid-fire lyricism is softened with cello and lush harmony, making ilyAIMY "a welcome jolt" and "an acoustically roiling, combustible attack on the usual singer/songwriter fare," say reviewers.
The last few years have been ilyAIMY's most exciting. Heather returned from backing Dar Williams' Promised Land Tour. The band added cellist Kristen Jones, now part of the touring trio. Rowan Corbett became a full member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops and toured extensively with Rhiannon Giddens. In 2017, Heather released her CD, "A Message in the Mess," with songs that this summer won her 4th place as a Telluride Troubadour at Colorado's prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival, an honorable mention from the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, Most Wanted Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in New York and Album of the Year from the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. ilyAIMY also released its 10th CD, "Cicada."
Nowadays, the band also counts icons like Pat Wictor of folk supergroup Brother Sun among fans.
"ilyAIMY ain't your grandpa's folk music - and thank goodness. They are fearless writers and performers. Voices this rich and emotionally hard-hitting - equal parts velvet darkness, barely contained heartbreak, and hard-won, unstoppable joy - don't come around often. Sing me the phone book, Heather Lloyd - I'll ask for an encore."
"Being partial to their amazing and unstoppable rhythm as well as their sheer originality, I see ilyAIMY being a force in our community for a very long time!" said Cheryl Prashker, NERFA President.
ilyAIMY also includes, when venue size and travel allows: Kristen Jones - cello (also of old-time trio Lulu's Fate); Sharif Kellogg - bass, piano; Rowan Corbett - bones, djembe, cajon vocals (also a member of the Rhiannon Giddens band and Carolina Chocolate Drops); and Joey Jenkins, drum kit.