Album Review of

Written by Joe Ross
November 7, 2019 - 6:26pm EST
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Nothin’ Fancy is a contemporary bluegrass from Virginia that formed in 1994. Since 2001, they’ve hosted an annual bluegrass festival in Buena Vista, Virginia. The band’s original material, clear vision, and solid musicianship helped them win SPBGMA’s “Entertaining Band of the Year” award a number of times. Between 2002-2009, they released four albums on the Pinecastle label. Now on the Mountain Fever label, “Undeniable” is their 16th album overall and emphasizes their proven signature sound. Mandolinist Mike Andes wrote seven songs, guitarist Caleb Cox penned four, and fiddler Chris Sexton contributed the Celtic-infused instrumental “Road to Dublin.” The rest of the band is banjo-player Jacob Flick who bends his strings on the bouncy traditional-flavored “Kentucky Bound,” and bassist James Cox who lays down solid rhythm. This album earns very high marks for its fresh, engaging material presented in a masterful fashion. Each song is straight-ahead bluegrass about times, places, people and life’s trials. Standout tracks include “Bailey’s Ridge,” “Leaving’s Up To You,” “Savage 29” and “Digging Coal.” Chris Sexton plays fiddle, viola and cello and provided string arrangements on the reflective closer “Here’s To My Life.” Nothin’ Fancy is an entertaining band that has remained loyal to their sound, and they’ve built a legion of fans. The smooth contemporary style of well-executed bluegrass music on “Undeniable” explains why. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)