If you enjoy fast, precise, masterful and tuneful flat-picking, allow me to introduce you to the Jon Stickley Trio. Emerging from the up and coming West Asheville, NC, the group has had a year to remember in 2013 and from all indications are looking forward to an even better 2014.
Composed of Stickley on guitar, Lyndsay Pruett on violin and Patrick Armitage on percussion, the group plays a brand of music that veers between traditional bluegrass to a progressive sound that has been called “jazzgrass” by BOLD Life Magazine.
Stickley hails from Durham, NC and has played with numerous bands in the past including Colorado Playboys (with Travis Book of The Infamous Stringdusters and Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon), Broke Mountain (also with Book and Thorn) and Big Fat Gap. Having a close relationship with Thorn help the Trio land a spot as openers on some dates of Leftover Salmon’s most recent swing through North Carolina.
The group’s eponymous album, available on CD Baby, is an instrumental delight that plays between a Spanish influenced “Tico Tico” to a more violin-focused “Blackberry Blossom”. The longest song on the album (and my favorite) is “Saje”, a downtempo jam. The song is itself an interesting story in that not even Stickley knows how to pronounce it.
“Some call it ‘Sage’ while others just spell it out S-a-j-e,” he said. “We just call it the A/E jam, because those are the primary chords. When we named it I just put my initials in with the A and E.”
After taking some recent time for a vacation in Puerto Rico with his girlfriend, Stickley and his bandmates are ready to hit the road starting with a 15-day tour of Colorado aptly named the “Colorado Ski Tour” which includes a date opening for Hot Buttered Rum. Festival dates are planned as they are already booked for Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC on April 24 and hope to make a return to Floydfest in July.
Check out www.jonstickley.com for more.