By Greg Cahill
Mixing up genres without pretension,” Jazz Times opined of Portland, Oregon, fingerstylist and composer Jamie Stillway, “the nimble Stillway moves freely with wit and creative restlessness.”
Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2002, Stillway has recorded three self-produced albums, using a battery of alternate tunings, marked by graceful melodies that have drawn favorable comparisons to Leo Kottke and Bill Frisell.
She’s also released the duo album Again, with Ben Bonham.
And she’s built a reputation as a sought-after instructor and clinician.
Stillway visited the Acoustic Guitar Sessions studio with her Santa Cruz OM/PW (pre-war orchestra model) to perform three solo-acoustic tunes: “(Watching the) Space Shuttle Channel” and “Home: Part 2,” in open-D tuning, from the Mell of a Hess album; and “Sparky’s Dream,” from her self-titled album. For this last song, Stillway uses an unusual tuning B F# C# F# B F#.
That latter tune is an homage to Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, who was known as “Sparky” to his friends.