The Jon Stickley Trio’s new single opens elegantly with a stately, almost melancholy, and dreamy conversation among Lyndsay Pruett’s tender violin bowings, Stickley’s solemn guitar picking, and Hunter Deacon’s swirling brushes. Thirty seconds in, though, the ground shifts and the tune rumbles off, propelled by Deacon’s galloping drums, careening rambunctiously around every musical twist and turn on the sonic highway. Masterfully weaving classical, jazz, and bluegrass with sprightly abandon, the three surprise us at every moment, for just when the tune seems to settle into a thematic groove, the violin or the guitar lands a series of notes that takes the tune in a different direction before winding back to the main path. The tune’s final notes offer an unexpected musical twist. The tune’s and Trio’s sheer brilliance delights at every turn.
Pruett reflects on her original composition: “‘Death by Rainbow’ is a lighthearted title I came up with for a tune I had just written as my boyfriend and I hiked through Rainbow Falls last summer. We came upon a copperhead snake that was stretched out across the trail, and had a hilarious time deciding how to get across. I felt it was a fitting title since it has a mostly upbeat and bouncy feel, but there’s a bit of a subversive thread throughout. I had a feeling it was going to be a good tune for the Trio, since our music so often explores themes involving the beauty and danger of nature — and, consequently, of life!” Says Stickley: “Lyndsay’s violin playing is nuanced, refined, creative, and always entertaining. ‘Death By Rainbow’ is very representative of her overall musical vibe — it’s lively and upbeat but dissonant, and it swings like gypsy jazz, too.”