In the current musical climate, labeling a band as genre-less or genre-bending is nearly cliche. Yet few bands truly defy classification to the point of the Jon Stickley Trio. The Asheville-based group led by guitarist Jon Stickley with bandmates Lindsay Pruett (violin/fiddle) and Hunter Deacon (drums) have no contemporaries.
JST’s concoction of instrumental Americana, acoustic jazz, folk, punk, Celtic (and so forth) is matched in its oft-symphonic compositional beauty by its captivating uniqueness. And the complexity of JST’s music is performed without pretension. This is not a musical master’s class that is complicated for the sake of being complicated, but a joyful celebration of instrumental mastery that can simultaneously keep a rowdy crowd dancing. Somehow, JST has found a style of music that would fit as well in a sit down music hall as in a late-night tent at a summer music festival.
If you have never listened to JST, I don’t have a comparison for you. I tried to find similar groups using Google and Spotify. The groups that hit on the searches were usual string band suspects such as String Cheese Incident or groups that now contain former bandmates of Stickley in the early 2000s Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band (Stickley with current members of Leftover Salmon, Infamous Stringdusters, and more). But there is no substitute to experiencing the JST in person, so come celebrate the end of the polar vortex at the SGHR Saturday night.