After releasing two full length albums and one EP in the past three years Jon Stickley Trio has become a fully formed musical power trio touching on, and seamlessly combining genres from bluegrass to punk, and from avant-guard jazz to hip hop. The Trio melds Stickley’s rapid-fire flatpicking guitar with the sultry and wild, yet refined, melodies of Lyndsay Pruett on violin set over the deep groove of Patrick Armitage on drums.
The all instrumental group delves into textural soundscapes and focuses on improvisation within creative arrangements, that highlights each musician’s unique background and skillset. The result is an open ended musical conversation which takes the listener on a cinematic journey with results ranging from groove-focused dancing to standing slack jawed with bewildered appreciation.
“Watching it felt good, and a little bit dirty at the same time–am I supposed to see people when they’re having this much fun? Jon is precise, Lyndsay Pruett is determined and fluid, and Patrick Armitage has a drum beat for every groove.”
–Grateful Music, Dan Fugate
“The latest record from the Jon Stickley Trio flexes new and strong muscles, utilizing more progressive structures and deeper pockets than ever before. All the while, the group retains its place as a modern-thinking acoustic ensemble with one foot in tradition and the other in a bluegrass honored future that allows for the avant garde, punk, and be bop to mix in freely and tastefully.” –Dave King (The Bad Plus)
Watch 100 shows of The Digs, and you’ll never experience the same one twice. Songsmiths, Simon Thomas George and Ram Mandelkorn, push beyond what is comfortable to continuously take their music to new and higher grounds. There is no shortage of inspiration. A unique concoction of funk, soul, RnB and jazz, The Digs have been turning heads and gaining national attention over the past year from their home base of Asheville, North Carolina. With a rotating door of 3 seriously exceptional drummers, Claude Coleman (of Ween), Jaze Urias (The Broadcast) and Phill Bronson (formerly of Jonathan Scales Fourchestra), constant rejuvenation comes easy.
This year has been a big one for The Digs. They released their first full length album, which has been affectionately embraced with regular rotation by radio stations across WNC. This is something of an anomaly for a jazz/funk instrumental trio. Their self-titled debut colors the spaces between a rich array of influences, most notably, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Wes Montgomery, John Scofield and Derek Trucks. Ram’s buttery guitar stylings are incredibly soulful, and his melodic sensibility plays a dynamic role in their immediate familiarity. Simon is something of a wizard on the keyboard. At 24, he has an striking handle on his instrument. He is both the bassist and keyboardist, grooving the left hand synth-bass while his right hand flies independently across the spectrum of his keyboard. They have had countless show dates near and far this year, most notably opening for The New Mastersounds at Isis Music Hall, and two tours to Caribbean paradise, The Virgin Islands.
“Josh Phillips and Friends is here to knock your socks off so you can put on new socks in 2018. Hope you washed your feet.” – Josh Phillips
Photo Credit: Sandlin Gaither