The band and our family are immensely saddened by the death of our friend, colleague, and benefactor Tom T. Hall.
Nothin’ Fancy played at the Gibson Showcase as a new member of the Pinecastle label in 2000. Quietly sitting in the audience and watching us play was none other than the legendary songwriter Tom T. Hall, who wrote “Harper Valley PTA,” “The Year Clayton Delaney Died,” “Little Bitty,” and “Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine.”
He had his representatives call us and summon us to his house outside Nashville. He told us, “I can’t put my finger on it, but you guys have something that makes you stand out.” He had sent us several songs he had written so we could choose one and give it our own unique spin. The song that spoke to us the most was his “tribute to the hippies,” which always amused us because of Mike’s famously long hair. We recorded it under Don Rigsby’s vision of featuring a string quartet and piano in the background, and it became the title track of our fifth album which was our Pinecastle debut: “Once Upon a Road.” He and his wife Dixie treated us to amazing meals (Dixie was simply one of the best cooks on the planet) and we felt we were family to the Halls.
It was not to be the only Hall song that we would record over the next several years, but none equaled the simple beauty of “Once Upon a Road.” It is still one of our most requested songs and, at the time it was released, reached the top 10 on the bluegrass charts in Bluegrass Unlimited. We would still come across him and Dixie at SPBGMA, and he remembered us every time he saw us. For all the fame he knew from his hit songs, he was always that plain, soft-spoken gentleman from Olive Hill, KY. He was a friend to so many in bluegrass, and was so good to us as a band in particular. He and his wife helped put us in the who’s-who of bluegrass music with his beautiful melody and lyrics. There are simply no words to express our sorrow in knowing he has laid down his songwriting pen for the last time. Yet his works will live beyond his own time on earth, and we will continue singing them as a tribute to his legacy and as thanks to a truly great man. His memory shall be a blessing, and we know that his reunion with Dixie and all those musicians who have gone on before will indeed give us the greatest musical inspiration of all. Blessed be.
New Guitarist Hired!
Nothin’ Fancy is pleased to announce the hiring of its new guitar player! Jacobe Lauzon of Colborne, Ontario, played his first performances with the band in Witts Springs, AR and at the Opera House in Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO to rave reviews. This announcement marks the moment that Nothin’ Fancy is now officially an international band!
Jacobe, also known as Jake, was born in Markham, Ontario and grew up in Orono, Ontario. He began his musical journey at seven years of age, after showing a persistent interest in playing his father’s guitars. Years later, Jake emerged as an accomplished young musician and singer, and played regular gigs across the Durham Region for almost a decade. Always a bluegrasser at heart, Jake truly excels both as a rhythm and flat-picking guitarist. Most notably, Jake won the Bluegrass Guitar Player of the Year (Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards) for 2018 and 2019.
With the long-awaited conclusion of the audition process, the band is ready and eager to bring our brand of bluegrass to audiences everywhere as festivals and venues open their doors once again. Jake is excited to be working with Nothin’ Fancy and all the opportunities to come!
2021 Festival Cancelled
A message from Robyn Wines, Nothin’ Fancy Festival Coordinator:
With many inquiries now starting to come in, we needed to make a final decision regarding the 2021 Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival. As hard as it was last year to have to postpone, we find it even more difficult to do the same this year, but feel we have no other option. I don’t think any of us, including those of you reading this, had any idea the impact of the pandemic or what would take place as a result of it. With guidelines easing, restrictions lessening, vaccines being administered and venues opening back up, we are confident that the light we’re seeing at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and much brighter, so it is our plan to move full speed ahead with planning for 2022. As promised last year, all camping and tickets will be honored and refunds will be offered to those who feel they just won’t be able to make it. We really appreciate you sticking by us through these crazy times and know that we’ll be working hard to come back bigger and better than ever before. With all of that said, last year we had a rather large group of folks that still came out to the park and camped, did some jamming in the campground, and we (Nothin’ Fancy) offered a couple of impromptu shows at the pavilion. It turned out to be a good time so we’ve opted to do that again this year. You would be responsible for paying the park for your camping and there will be no charge for any entertainment; however, donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated. As always, we can’t thank you enough for the support you’ve shown through all of this and we pray that everyone continues to stay safe and healthy until we can all be together again.