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Jon Stickley in 2017 playing at WinterWondergrass Festival in Lake Tahoe. Photo by JohnRyan Lockman

Jon Stickley Trio mixes it up at Fry Family Farm

Jon Stickley Trio’s textural soundscapes combine his high-speed flatpicking guitar, Lyndsay Pruett’s violin and drummer Hunter Deacon’s jazz beats. Their music is a bit like Darol Anger’s “Republic of Strings” meets Pink Floyd.

“Stickley is a super-resourceful acoustic guitarist who uses the instrument in many surprising ways and whose timing is flawless,” wrote Nashville’s Music City Roots’ Craig Havighurst. “Fiddler Lyndsay Pruett puts deep thought into her flowing solos, plus she adds little flourishes and sudden stops that elevate the music.”

Jon Stickley Trio will perform a mix of bluegrass, Chuck Berry, metal, progressive and grunge at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at Fry Family Farm, 2184 Ross Lane, Medford. Singer and songwriter Justin Farren will open the show. Tickets are $20 in advance and can be purchased at ashlandfolkcollective.com. Tickets will be $25 the day of the show.

Deacon teamed up with Stickley and Pruett in January.

“We’re really excited to have Hunter’s vibe in the mix,” Stickley says in a press release. “His creativity and willingness to experiment are two things that drew us to him. He has a lot of personality and sensitivity in his playing which makes our dynamic range even wider. Lyndsay and I are inspired by what he brings to the table.”

With inspiration ranging from such antonymous bands and artists as Green Day, Duran Duran, Tony Rice, Nirvana, Grateful Dead, David Grisman and others, the trio makes waves with its exclusive sound. Along with releasing two full-length studio albums, “Maybe Believe” in 2017, “Lost At Last” in 2015 — both produced by Dave King (The Bad Plus, Happy Apple) at Echo Mountain Studios in the band’s hometown of Asheville, North Carolina — and an EP in 2016 titled “Triangular,” the trio has zig-zagged the nation, playing over a hundred dates a year.

“As far as the bluegrass thing goes, it’s pretty powerful,” Stickley says in a video of an eTown performance in May. “Its spirit is what drew me to bluegrass. I was in rock bands, punk bands. It wasn’t until I went to my first bluegrass jam that I experienced so many types of people. We started playing bluegrass and it brought everyone together instantly. That alone is a powerful part of the bluegrass scene.

“It’s not just about bluegrass,” he says. “There are so many styles of music and everything is connected. I think it’s a good metaphor for the world and how we should all interact.”

Along with the eTown appearance, Stickley’s trio performed on NPR’s Mountain Stage and aired on more than 240 public radio stations in June. The trio played several sets at the inaugural Bender Jamboree (where Stickley jammed with Leftover Salmon, Sam Bush and Billy Strings). This year sees the trio at WinterWonderGrass, Cumberland Caverns, Savannah Stopover Festival, Suwannee Spring Reunion, Old Settler’s Music Festival, DelFest, John Hartford Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Northwest String Summit, and others.

“The trio feels fresher and hotter than ever,” Stickley says. “We’ve hit our stride in terms of creating tunes that are uniquely us and that’s a really exciting place to be musically. Not to mention we are so stoked to get back to many of our favorite festivals and clubs, and even more excited to play some we’ve always dreamed of. This year will be, without a doubt, our best year yet.”

Working forward, Jon Stickley Trio will perform in October at Hangtown Music Festival in California and Suwannee Hulaween in Florida. In November, the trio will play Bluegrass Underground at The Caverns in Pehlam, Tennessee, with Jeff Austin Band and Larry Keel Experience.

For more information and updates from the road, visit jonstickley.com or facebook.com/jonstickleytrio.

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