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Music Feature: Jon Stickley Trio

Music Feature: Jon Stickley Trio

Scripting the Flip

Asheville-based Jon Stickley Trio creates its instrumental, progressive bluegrass sound with drum, guitar and violin. The new album, Scripting the Flip, includes original music, a special guest performance and a cover of Kenny Baker’s classic “Bluegrass in the Backwoods” as a nod to the musicians’ roots.

The band formed, Stickley says, when he ran into Lyndsay Pruett, “one of the best musicians I’ve ever met,” at a gig at the old MoDaddy’s in Asheville. “We loved each other’s playing right away,” he says. “Lyndsay grew up playing classical fiddle and listening to her father play with the great bluegrass fiddler Vassar Clements.” Current drummer Hunter Deacon was playing seven nights a week at a jazz club in China before joining the trio. “Our new album is the first one he played on,” Stickley says, “and he absolutely killed it!”

The musicians look for universal appeal with their songs. “Each tune is its own experiment,” Stickley says, “but we try to keep the music within some of the guidelines of the traditional fiddle and bluegrass music that we love so much. It’s important to us that the songs are relatable and fun, but with as much attention to timing and execution as possible.”

Special guest Andy Thorn (Leftover Salmon) recorded with the trio on Scripting the Flip. In fact, the song “Driver” was written with him and his banjo in mind. “I always love Lyndsay’s tunes, and this album includes a great one called ‘Pronoia,’” Stickley says. “It is such a unique and evocative song and playing it is always a challenge because of the interesting way she composed the chords and melody.”

With COVID-19 concerns keeping musicians at a social distance from each other and their fans, Stickley calls this “the lamest spring tour of all time.” They are, however, putting together streaming events and letting people know about their music on Facebook and Instagram. “We’re stoked to have the album for people to listen to,” he says, “and are trying to build our streaming audience, so, if you can, follow us on Spotify or check us out on Apple Music and Amazon Music.”

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