Jon Stickley Trio
Old Salt Union
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Jon Stickley Trio is a genre-defying and cinematic instrumental trio, who’s deep grooves, innovative flatpicking, and sultry-spacy violin moves the listener’s head, heart, and feet. “It’s not your father’s acoustic-guitar music—Instead, Stickley’s Martin churns out a mixture of bluegrass, Chuck Berry, metal, prog, grunge, and assorted other genres—all thoroughly integrated into a personal style,” writes Guitar Player Magazine.
Premier Guitar says, “Stickley’s trio… is not a traditional bluegrass group by any means… they are just nimble and ambitious enough to navigate EDM-style breakbeats as effortlessly as the old timey standard ‘Blackberry Blossom.’”
“Stickley is a super-resourceful acoustic guitarist who uses the instrument in many surprising ways and whose timing is just flawless. Fiddler Lyndsay Pruett puts deep thought into her flowing solos, plus she adds little flourishes and sudden stops that elevate the music,” proclaims Nashville's Music City Roots’ Craig Havighurst.
Jon Stickley Trio announces a change in lineup beginning in January 2018 with new drummer, Hunter Deacon, who is both classically trained and boasts heavy jazz influences. Hailing from the ever-hip Knoxville, Tennessee, Hunter studied with drummer Keith Brown and received a BM in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Tennessee. Deacon then went on to complete a six month residency at a jazz club in Hangzhou, China where he performed seven nights a week. Since his return, he’s played with Scott Miller and the Commonwealth, toured the country with Sam Lewis, and performs with guitarist Mike Baggetta.
Stickley says about the seemingly sudden lineup change “we’re really excited to add Hunter’s vibe to the mix, his creativity and willingness to experiment were two things that drew us to him, and Lyndsay and I were quickly surprised and inspired by what he’ll bring to the table.”
With inspiration ranging from from Green Day to Duran Duran to Tony Rice to Nirvana, Grateful Dead, David Grisman and beyond, the Trio is making waves with their unique sound. Along with releasing two full length albums and one EP in the past few years, the Trio has zig-zagged the nation, playing over 120 dates in 2017 alone. They are road tested and band geek approved!
Dave King (of The Bad Plus) joined forces with Jon Stickley Trio to produce 2017’s Maybe Believe and 2015’s Lost At Last (which The New York Times called “both respectful and free”) in the band’s hometown of Asheville, NC at the esteemed Echo Mountain Recording Studio. The Trio slipped a self-produced 5-track EP, Triangular, into the mix in December of 2016.
“In a time when a lot of instrumental music feels more like math than art, Jon Stickley Trio reminds us of the pure joy that can be created and shared through music,” says Greensky Bluegrass’ Anders Beck.
Old Salt Union once again enlisted GRAMMY-winning banjoist and Compass co-founder Alison Brown to produce the follow-up to their self-titled Compass Records debut. The resulting album, Where the Dogs Don’t Bite, builds on this non-traditional stringband’s varied musical backgrounds for a wildly entertaining, eclectic batch of songs.
The quintet — Ryan Murphey (banjo), Justin Wallace (lead vocals and mandolin), John Brighton (violin), Jesse Farrar (lead vocals and bassist) and newest member Graham Curry (guitar) have continued to hone and develop their sound through relentless touring, cultivating a steadfast fanbase drawn to their high-energy shows. Coming from varied musical backgrounds, Old Salt Union’s collective melting pot of styles and musical vocabularies informs their fresh approach to modern string band music and has helped to carve a unique niche for this Belleville, Illinois roots outfit.
Farrar, nephew of Son Volt’s Jay Farrar, kicks off the album with “God You Don’t Need,” a hook laden ode to a relationship gone bad set against a tapestry of strings and an eerily compelling banjo melody. Label mate Bobby Osborne guests on “Tell Me So,” a nod to the bluegrass side of the band’s musical sensibilities featuring lead vocals and songwriting by mandolinist Justin Wallace.
Violinist Brighton delivers the gypsy-tinged instrumental “Johann’s Breakdown,” which pulls from jazz and classical progressions, and Wallace delivers the haunting title track, “Where The Dogs Don’t Bite.” The dark, but heartfelt song features triple-layered guitar harmonies, stacked vocals and a group sing-along that recalls last call at a corner pub in the rust belt, a fitting closing to this musically diverse and compelling release.
The Grey Eagle
185 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC, 28801