What’s with the name?
ilyAIMY (pronounced ill-yay-mee) is an acronym that stands for i love you And I Miss You. It originated with a Baltimore street art phenomenon: stickers featuring nostalgic pictures of families and bearing the caption “I love you and I miss you.” Rob Hinkal, then a college student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, joined a band created to write songs inspired by this artwork. After graduating members went their separate ways, Hinkal went forward with his music under the acronym.
For two decades, ilyAIMY has played everywhere - bait shops to biker weeks to clothing-optional resorts - nationwide. Similarly adventurous songwriters, the band features multiple lead singers, innovative acoustic guitar, and even beatboxing. Rapid-fire lyricism is softened with cello and lush harmonies for "a welcome jolt in folk" as likely to rock out as break into a barbershop quartet. “Imagine, if you will, the rhythm section of Earth Wind and Fire teamed up with the folk sensibilities of Steeleye Span and you will have ilyAIMY,” says Vance Gilbert. And they bring that same infectious energy, eclectic musicianship, and hilarious stage banter to festival stages and living room house concerts alike.
Heather Aubrey Lloyd and Rob Hinkal, ilyAIMY’s core duo, have earned honors from Kerrville NewFolk, Telluride Troubador, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Northeast and Southeast Regional Folk Alliances, and more. They are repeat Washington Area Music Association Winners for Best Contemporary Folk Group.
The band is currently recording its 12th album, which will incorporate the songs of longtime member Rowan Corbett (formerly of The Carolina Chocolate Drops).
"ilyAIMY ain't your grandpa's folk music - and thank goodness. Fearless writers and performers. Voices rich and emotionally hard-hitting - equal parts velvet darkness, barely contained heartbreak, and hard-won, unstoppable joy. Sing me the phone book - I'll ask for an encore." - Pat Wictor (Brother Sun)
"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!"
- Cheryl Prashker (former Northeast Regional Folk Alliance President)