Saturday, May 27, 2017

May 27, 2017

Tennessee Gentlemen Bluegrass Shack
Lucy, Tennessee
       PRO FOOTBALL SEASON 2017 is still a way off yet, but TERRY BAUCOM & THE DUKES OF DRIVE have definitely scored a big TD!
       The NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, has selected its inductees for the 2017 celebration on August 6, 2017. Inductees are: Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Kurt Warner.
       The kicker (pun intended!) is that for the first time ever, a renowned bluegrass music band has been selected to entertain at the ceremony. Yes! You read that right! This is one ceremony that we hope is televised, especially the part where Terry Baucom and the Dukes of Drive will be performing.
       Members of the Dukes of Drive are: Terry Baucom (Monroe, NC, banjo and vocals), Joey Lemons (King, NC, mandolin and vocals), Will Jones (Cana, VA, guitar and vocals), and Joe Hanabach (Pfafftown, NC, bass).
       Be sure to check out the Dukes' new album Fourth and Goal.
For more information:
Terry Baucom and The Dukes of Drive on Bluegrass Today, Facebook, and YouTube
Terry Baucom
Pro Football Hall of Fame 2017 Class at
Correction and apology:  The mandolin player's name is JOEY Lemons. The above information has been corrected. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 22, 2017  
Marty Scarbrough introducing
Nothin' Fancy
Marty Scarbrough under Collins
Theatre Marquee
NOTHIN' FANCY just rolled through Paragould, AR, to rock the Collins Theatre again! Marty Scarbrough, Program Director at KASU 91.9 FM, chose very well to feature the band at "Bluegrass Monday" in May of 2017. We recall the dynamic quintet's appearance in 2014, but we couldn't recall what happened to 2015. We had no blog record of their appearance at the theatre in 2015. Band leader Mike Andes cleared up the question when he mentioned an ice storm in the area in February of 2015. Mystery solved! We stick pretty close to home when there is ice or other threatening weather in that area of northeast Arkansas.
     May 22, 2017, provided fine weather for a trip to see this wonderful band once again. We went, we ate at Terry's Café prior to the concert, and we were delighted with their performance. If you missed them, you may wish to travel to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, for some shows over the next few days. The band is worth the trip!
L to R: Chris Sexton, Caleb Cox, James Cox, Mike Andes, Mitchell Davis

     We shall borrow from ourselves and our 2014 blog to create a combo-blog with introductions of two new yet fabulous musicians and new photos.
     'Nothin' Fancy rolled into Paragould in a big, bright yellow bus. They parked beside the Collins Theatre. People naturally noticed. A bus like that is a pretty big deal in Paragould. Actually, that bus is about as far as the 'fancy' label goes. They're not a fancy band, but their music is pure magic! The band has a yellow busload of honors from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). Frankly, it was difficult to hold this band down in their native spot in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. As leader Mike Andes said, "Someone should write a song with those four words (Shenandoah Valley of Virginia)." Too late, Mike. Somebody wrote it already.
     Mike Andes, the self-taught professional singer and mandolinist, is a founding member of Nothin' Fancy, the band which began to take shape in 1994. Prior to that, Mike formed the East Coast Bluegrass Band. He describes his appearance as sort of leftover-hippy. Don't let that fool you for one minute. There is a big voice on this guy, along with his expert mandolin artistry. His inspiration for the band's music is Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen, with a lot of the Seldom Scene thrown in for good measure. The affable instrument builder (mandolins and fiddles, even a 5-string fiddle) and performer is also a proud grandfather.
     Mitchell Davis plays banjo in the group. He can also handle vocals, the guitar, and the fiddle. He was smitten with Earl Scruggs and Don Reno at a young age. Mitch also comes out of the East Coast Bluegrass Band. His early mentors were also the Country Gentlemen and the Seldom Scene. Mitch produced several of the Nothin' Fancy albums.
L to R: Chris Sexton, Caleb Cox, James Cox (at rear),
Mike Andes, Mitchell Davis
     Chris Sexton is the 'fiddle player's fiddle player'! Chris was, and still is, known as a successful violinist. He has performed with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Roanoke Symphony, and the Loudoun symphony. He has a master's degree in violin pedagogy [teaching violin through private lessons]. Chris also performed with the East Coast Bluegrass Band. There's more! There is Chris' violin work that could be heard in recent years on the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, PBS and the National Geographic Channel. He is a sought-after session musician and a natural performer who is fun to watch. Handling vocal parts as well, Chris fits in perfectly with Nothin' Fancy.
     Caleb Cox comes to Nothin' Fancy with his powerful voice and guitar work. We were thrilled to be introduced to this young man and his talent. He seems completely at home in his role as amazing guitarist and singer.
     James ("Cool Cat") Cox is Caleb's brother. He hangs to the back of the stage arrangement of Nothin' Fancy, but the man is a very accomplished upright bass player. Virginia has reared many a fine bluegrass musician, and James and Caleb Cox are two great examples of the younger generation in bluegrass. We think that the future of bluegrass music is very bright with these young men!
L to R: Chris Sexton, Caleb Cox, James Cox (at rear),
Mike Andes, Mitchell Davis
     Here's the program for the concert:
     SET ONE: Headin' Back to Ol' Tennessee, I Know That Dreams Come True, The Leaves Mustn't Fall, Sunny Side of the Mountain (Caleb Cox featured), Handsome Molly, Little Wooden Crosses, Andersonville, The Circuit Rider, Cheap Whiskey, Uncle Pen
     SET TWO: All the Same in Love, War, and Games; Someday We'll Meet Again, Sweetheart; Two Different Worlds; Tupelo County Jail; Redwood Hills; Simon Crutchfield's Grave; Secret of the Waterfall; Lonesome Without You; Grandma Bought a Hog; The Touch of Your Hand; Orange Blossom Special; Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" ("Spring" solo by Chris Sexton) followed by a standing ovation; Encore: The Last Train from Poor Valley
For more information:
Nothin' Fancy website:  Search them on Facebook, too. Latest album: "Nothin' Fancy: Where I Came From" (Mountain Fever Records, 2016)
Bluegrass Monday on Facebook
KASU 91.9 FM with Marty Scarbrough (on the campus of Arkansas State University, Jonesboro) will replay the concert by Nothin' Fancy on Sunday, May 28, 2017, on "Down Home Harmonies" at 12:30 PM CDT. Catch the show on radio or online (
The Collins Theatre: 120 W. Emerson St., Paragould, AR
Terry's Café: 201 South Pruett, Paragould, AR. Delicious catfish buffet served on "Bluegrass Mondays" from 4:30p to 6:45p prior to performances at the Collins Theatre.