Jon Stickley Trio is set to independently release a 2nd album, Lost at Last, on October 6, 2015. The originality and sheer energy of this genre-bending ensemble serves as a welcome wake up call for those who experience it. With roots in gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and hip-hop, Jon Stickley Trio combines Jon Stickley’s rapid-fire flatpicking guitar with the sultry and wild, yet refined, melodies of Lyndsay Pruett (Futureman) on violin set over the deep groove of Patrick Armitage (Atmosphere) on drums. The three have fused their collective styles into a repertoire of exciting and innovative original music along with some captivating covers.
“At the unlikely intersection of Bluegrass, Jazz and Punk lies the Jon Stickley Trio. A true fusion of American music, this virtuosic trio exploded onto the landscape, leaving listeners scratching their heads, wondering what exactly it was they were hearing, and desperate for the next song to begin. For their second record, Lost at Last, JS3 has, like an open-wheel, open cockpit-race car, abandoned anything frivolous or unnecessary, and this stripped-down, streamlined JS3 is built for speed, dangerous as hell, and irresistible,” says Travis Book of The Infamous Stringdusters.
Lost at Last was recorded in the band’s hometown of Asheville, NC at the iconic Echo Mountain Studios under the watchful eye of producer Dave King (The Bad Plus). While recording the album, King referred to the band’s imaginative sound as “this whole other thing.” King’s creative energy and inspired musical approach led the band deeper and deeper into the heart of their musical consciousness, which led to the solidification of their musical identity.
“Working with our producer Dave King was a life changing experience for us all,” says Stickley. “He is an intense, master musician, but also a hilarious, life-loving, positive, HEAVY, ‘unimpeachable’, inspiring dude! He helped us find ourselves, and his mark on the album is undeniable.” Jon goes on to say, “We succeeded in capturing a lot of spontaneous energy.”
Fan-funded through Kickstarter, Lost at Last features eleven tracks including six original tunes. It opens with ”Point-to-Point,” a song that could sum up the Trio’s personality, ranging from delicate syncopated pizzicato interplay to a powerful electo-rock climax featuring Jon’s distinctive flat-picking style. “Darth Radar” is already a crowd favorite at the Trio’s live shows; it was originally inspired by the modern dubstep artists, Skrillex and deadmau5, but over time has settled into an upbeat groove, with elements of ska and the fleet single string tremolo one might hear from Dick Dale, and other surf guitar gods. “Rice Dream,” is Jon’s subtle prayer for Tony Rice, who is one of his biggest musical influences. The song highlights Jon’s nimble picking style and soft harmonic chimes as well as the haunting beauty of Lyndsay’s violin.
Other tracks include the hypnotically enchanting “Goa,” penned by Pruett on the shores of the Indian Ocean, the cinematic and neoclassical “Octapickin,” in which Pruett's beautiful string arrangements and improvisations take the listener through an emotional dreamscape, and the relaxing and poetic “Pamlico Sound.”
Lost at Last features a handful of covers including The Bad Plus’ “Never Stop”, Tim O’Brien’s “The High Road,” set to a grooving half time feel and break beat reprise, held down by Patrick Armitage on the drums. Lost at Last also features a ‘Stickley” version of Strength in Numbers’ “Slopes” (written by Bela Fleck, Mark O'Connor). The record also includes a traditional gypsy jazz waltz, “Valse de Wasso,”and ends with “Flight of the Durban,” penned by Stickley’s longtime friend Leftover Salmon’s banjo ripper Andy Thorn.
In their short time together, Jon Stickley Trio has shared the stage with Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Larry Keel, and Leon Russell, amongst others. They have thrilled audiences at some of the nation's top festivals including MerleFest, Floydfest, and Four Corners Folk Fest. Billy Nershi (String Cheese Incident) says, "I’ve had the pleasure of playing with Jon onstage and off. He always plays something I didn’t think was possible.”
For more information, updates from the road, and tour dates, please visit www.jonstickley.com, www.facebook.com/JonStickleyTrio, and www.twitter.com/StickleyMusic.