Known for traveling the country in a bright school bus, Nothin’ Fancy combines charming humor, smooth vocal blends, and a natural talent for bluegrass tradition. The group first formed for a bluegrass festival competition, and since then has become a production of eleven full length albums and tours across America and worldwide. Nothin’ Fancy is a bluegrass band from Buena Vista, Virginia, that began in 1994. Since then, they have played at notable venues such as the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the Lincoln Center in New York City, and their very own Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival in Buena Vista, held the fourth weekend of September every year since 2001.
The Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival brings in numerous fans from around the country and overseas. It has become a notable event for the Shenandoah Valley. So much so that the Buena Vista mayor named one of the festival days “Nothin’ Fancy Day” in the town.
The band has a loyal following that spans across two decades. Their performances have earned them six Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) Entertainers of the Year awards, honorary Mountaineer status from former West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, and certificates of appreciation from several Virginia towns. In 2015, the band was inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame.
Mike was born and raised in Timberville, Virginia and started performing at 14 years old. Without any lessons or professional training, Mike plays guitar by ear. Long time inspired by Charlie Waller, he started his first band, The East Coast Bluegrass Band, in the 1980s, and in 1994 co-founded Nothin’ Fancy. During his time with this band, he has been nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, Individual Entertainer of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year through SPBGMA. He now resides in Pataskala, Ohio, with his wife and enjoys building mandolins and fiddles.
Chris Sexton is a multi-instrumentalist that plays fiddle and contributes vocals to the band. He started playing with the band in 1998, immediately winning the bluegrass band competition at the Maury River Fiddler’s Convention. Inspired by his father Buster Sexton, Chris started playing the mandolin but soon transitioned to the violin. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from Shenandoah University and started playing in the East Coast Bluegrass Band with his father soon after. He played in the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Roanoke Symphony, and the Loudoun Symphony. His work has been featured on Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, PBS, and the National Geographic Channel. In 2010, he graduated with a masters degree in violin pedagogy. Now, when he’s not playing with Nothin’ Fancy, he’s teaching violin, cello, piano, fiddle, and viola at the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
Jacob attends East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. He is majoring in Appalachian studies with a concentration in bluegrass. When he’s not studying, he resides in Singers Glen, Virginia.
Curt Gausman started as part of Hobbs and Partners, and then formed the Hazel River Band in 1996. After recording two albums with them, he auditioned for Nothin’ Fancy at their bluegrass festival. He started playing rhythm guitar with them in October of 2022, and has been with them since.
An expert at the upright bass, Jenkins has performed worldwide and recorded with veterans like Frank Solivan.
Nothin' Fancy News
It’s undeniable Nothin’ Fancy is one of the most beloved acts in the bluegrass circuit. If one is fortunate enough to see them perform live, they will never forget it! Nothin’ Fancy’s shows are loaded with great music, personality, and flair. Fortunately […]