Tell us more about yourself (place a Bio here if you wish)
Jon Stickley has been performing music professionally since the age of 16. During high school in Durham, NC he co-founded the indy-math-rock quintet, Strunken White which developed a strong cult following and was featured on NPR and college stations across the state. During this time, Stickley's ears perked up to the local bluegrass sounds, and he decided to leave the rock scene behind and devote as much energy to bluegrass as possible. Starting out on mandolin and then guitar, he and close friend Andy Thorn (Larry Keel/ Emmit-Nershi Band) started the group Crawdad PA. In college, Stickley performed weekly with The Big Fat Gap, a bluegrass band that is still performing in Chapel Hill.
Upon graduation from NC State, Jon, along with Andy Thorn joined up with some young pickers from Durango, CO. They formed Broke Mountain (not Brokeback Mountain, this was before the movie) and toured Colorado and the west extensively, and won the Rockygrass Band Contest in 2004. Broke Mountain disbanded in Fall 2005 when the members decided to move on to better opportunities.
After leaving Broke Mountain, Stickley moved to Asheville, NC to play mandolin with the Biscuit Burners, an acclaimed group with a national touring schedule and a bus. During this period, he became friends with Shannon Whitworth, the band's lead singer. In 2006, Stickley and Whitworth decided to leave and start their own project featuring Whitworth's songs and sensitive vocals as well as Stickley's acoustic and electric guitar playing. While developing the Shannon Whitworth project, Stickley was also performing with acclaimed bluegrass bands, New Vintage, Colorado Playboys, The Big Fat Gap, and Songs from the Road Band (Larry Keel, Steep Canyon Rangers).
In 2008, Stickley released his first solo project Lions, which paid tribute to, and featured the picking of some of his closest musical friends. In 2009, Stickley completed the recording of a 3-song EP of new music which has yet to be released.
Stickley, 28, is currently touring and recording with Shannon Whitworth, and living in Asheville, NC where he performs with his own group, The Jon Stickley Band, teaches guitar and mandolin, and attends local bluegrass jams 3 nights a week. An interview and review of Lions will be featured in next month's issue of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.