With their fresh sound, original material, strong vocals and innovative musicianship, Breaking Grass is doing exactly what their name implies. Although not quite traditional, the music they present is without a doubt steeped in the timeless genre they grew up listening to. Comprised of Cody Farrar on guitar; Tyler White on fiddle; Jody Elmore on banjo; Zach Wooten on mandolin; and Britt Sheffield on bass; this innovative band formed with one goal in mind – to make music that all ages could enjoy.
The Church Sisters
The Church Sisters are Sarah and Savannah Church, twins who live in Galax VA. They were born in Norton VA, coal mining area of Dickenson County. They began their musical career in March of 2007 after winning a local talent competition on WAKG radio. The phone began ringing requesting them to appear at various places including, churches, theaters and festivals. Since winning the competition they have been busy traveling the United States and hope one day to tour Europe. The pair have met and performed with prestigious names such as: Rhonda Vincent, The Isaacs, Carl Jackson,Larry Cordle, Jerry Salley, and Tony Rice. The girls have two self released albums and are currently working on a third. The second album “There’s You” feature’s mandolin virtuoso Adam Steffey whom the girls are proud to call friend. The album was produced by Josh Pickett at Creekside Recording Studio, who also has contributed Guitar and Bass tracks for the album. Josh Pickett is the girls cousin as well as the lead guitar player for the band. The Church Sisters were recently signed to Big Machine Records! We’re excited to have them as part of our festival this year.
Nothin’ Fancy formed as a bluegrass band in 1994 to compete in a bluegrass competition. Since then, they have grown in popularity, released 11 full length albums, and continue to perform at festivals across the United States and in international engagements. Their audiences have gathered at notable venues such as the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN; the Lincoln Center in New York City; and the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. They have been seen at Dollywood, and are a regular fixture at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO where promoter/coordinator D.A. Callaway described Nothin’ Fancy as “the act that America needs to see.” They have successfully hosted their own Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival every year since 2001 in Buena Vista, VA on the fourth weekend of September. The festival has become a notable event for the Shenandoah Valley bluegrass scene and attracts acclaimed bluegrass bands and bluegrass music lovers from many corners of the U.S., Canada, and even overseas. The band is known for their smooth vocal blends, stirring performances, irrepressible humor, and for traveling the highways in their beloved bright yellow tour bus.
Their two-decade career has earned them a dedicated fan base, six Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) Entertainers of the Year awards, honorary Mountaineer status by order of former WV Governor Joe Manchin III, and certificates of appreciation from several VA towns, and even had the Buena Vista mayor declare it as “Nothin’ Fancy Day” at one of their festivals. On April 10, 2015, the all-male music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia inducted four members of Nothin’ Fancy into honorary brotherhood through the chapter at James Madison University (the fifth, Chris Sexton, joined Phi Mu Alpha in 1995 at Shenandoah University’s chapter). Most recently, Nothin’ Fancy revealed that on October 10, 2015, the band will be inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, an honor given once a year to Virginia’s most notable country and bluegrass musicians.