- Bluegrass MP3 Downloads
- Bluegrass Lyrics
- Submit Festival/Event Info
by Loretta Sawyer, 03/25/2004
Itís only the beginning of 2004 and it is going to be a stellar year for Nothiní Fancy as they celebrate their 10th anniversary as a bluegrass band and release their second project for Pinecastle Records. In a recent conversation with Mike Andes, lead singer and mandolin player, he brings us up to date with the band.
BMP: Who makes up Nothiní Fancy?
MIKE: We all come from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Gary Fartis plays guitar and he is our tenor singer, Tony Shorter plays the bass and sings baritone, Mitchell Davis plays banjo and sings the bass parts and Chris Sexton plays fiddle. Tom West is a full member of the band and he is in charge of booking the band, inventory and paperwork. He keeps us on the road. We are adding more dates this year, and we are continually looking for new venues and states. This year we are going to Canada, Arkansas, Iowa, and Michigan, and these are new places for us.
BMP: What do you credit the longevity of the band to?
MIKE: We are celebrating our 10th year together and during that time we have had only one personnel change. We share a lot of the same tastes in music. It is camaraderie in the band and we even comment on the road how much fun we have. We take our music serious; we want to take it as far as we can go. We are having as much fun now as when we were playing in parking lots back in Ď94.
BMP: Youíve come a long way from playing in parking lots. What are some highlights for the band?
MIKE: In October 2002 we showcased at IBMA. We played the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Theater. In 2003 we were nominated for the IBMA Emerging Artist Award. We play at least 140 dates a year which we will increase this year.
BMP: How did your association with Pinecastle Records come about?
MIKE: We were shopping for a label and we worked our way into a show at a college near our home because we knew that Tom Riggs, president of Pinecastle, was in the area and we wanted him to listen to us. We also worked a festival in Orlando, Florida where Pinecastle was located and once again Mr. Riggs was there. That is when we got the offer and signed. We thought we were making these strives for Pinecastle to see us but once we got into the meeting, we learned that Pinecastle had been watching us and saw us fives times prior without us even knowing it. It was a good feeling.
BMP: Tell us about your first release for Pinecastle and the title song?
MIKE: Once Upon A Road was released in June 2002. The title song was written by Tom T. and Dixie Hall. We met them at a Pinecastle-sponsored show at the Gibson Showcase when we were doing a show there. I introduced myself to Mr. Hall. We recorded the album at Tom T. Hallís studio in Franklin, Tennessee and he produced it. They had written the song and the song struck all of us. After releasing Once Upon A Road, the people started seeing the Nothiní Fancy name out there and it has blossomed quickly.
BMP: Tell us about the new album?
MIKE: We are leaning towards a self-titled album. The cover will be a relaxed picture of the band, something to portray the way we are. I wrote 10 of the 12 songs, but everyone adds their comments and suggestions. Our main goal is to see how good Nothiní Fancy can be as a team effort. Itís interesting for me to look back at our first independent album in 1994 and I can see how the band is falling into its own sounds and feeling. On the new album we have taken it up another notch with more feel to the songs. We have a strong harmony in the band. We strive to do the best we can to have tight harmony and we complement each other on it. Gary Farris is our tenor singer and it is easy for us to sing harmony when you have a tenor singer as strong as he is. Inspiration for us has been bands that have tight harmony like Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. When I sing I am a stickler about pronouncing the words when I sing so that the audience can understand what I am singing. I get that inspiration from Charlie Waller. There is something on the new album for every mood you can be in and every form of bluegrass that you like. This second release on Pinecastle is in the final stages of production. We are very excited about this album and what the year ahead brings.
reprinted with permission from
March/April 04 Bluegrass Music Profiles Magazine