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The Jon Stickley Trio puts its fusion spin on bluegrass classic, “Bluegrass In The Backwoods”

The groundbreaking Jon Stickley Trio is back with their third single for Organic Records, and this time out, it’s a characteristically witty yet deeply rooted take on a bluegrass classic: legendary fiddler Kenny Baker’s “Bluegrass In The Backwoods.” 

“It was only a matter of time before we worked up this song, and I’m so glad we did,” says guitarist Stickley. Long a favorite of fiddle players influenced by the Bluegrass Hall of Famer, “Bluegrass In The Backwoods” first appeared on Baker’s 1977 Frost On The Pumpkin, recorded with a band that included three fellow members of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and a young Sam Bush on the mandolin. Here, the spotlight lingers longest on violinist Lyndsay Pruett, who lends her own verve to the intricate twists and turns of Baker’s melody as drummer Hunter Deacon knocks out kaleidoscopic rhythmic variations and Stickley alternates taut chordal work with his own ripping solo. 

“The tune captures one of the coolest aspects of bluegrass: Its ability
to naturally incorporate other genres and styles. It’s easy to hear the
influences of Gypsy Jazz, and even Bebop in the phasing of the melody,”
the bandleader notes. “When developing this song for the Trio,
we wanted to stick to the melody as much as possible, paying tribute to
the original composition. We viewed the original melody through our own
rhythmic lens and just ran with it. The result landed in Country-Latin
territory, and we like to think Kenny would have been happy with it.” 

Listen to “Bluegrass In The Backwoods” HERE.

About the Jon Stickley Trio

Jon Stickley Trio is a genre-defying and cinematic instrumental trio,
whose deep grooves, innovative flatpicking, and sultry-spacy violin move
the listener’s head, heart, and feet. “It’s not your father’s
acoustic-guitar music—although Stickley’s pop showed him his first
chords when he was 12 years old. 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. With inspiration ranging from Green Day to Duran
Duran to Tony Rice to Nirvana, Grateful Dead, David Grisman and beyond,
the Trio, which features violinist Lyndsay Pruett and drummer Hunter
Deacon, 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, though they still call Asheville, NC home.
Stickley says, “The Trio feels fresher and hotter than ever, we’ve hit
our stride in terms of creating tunes that are uniquely us and that’s a
really exciting place to be musically.”

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