Bluegrass convention attendee makes first appearance with band

Kevin Strouth performs Saturday afternoon with Nothin’ Fancy at the Bluegrass Music Awards at Capitol Plaza in Jefferson City. This weekend was Strouth’s first time performing with the band.

Kevin Strouth performs Saturday afternoon with Nothin’ Fancy at the Bluegrass Music Awards at Capitol Plaza in Jefferson City. This weekend was Strouth’s first time performing with the band. Photo by Kris Wilson.

Kevin Strouth’s life is all about music.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do was play music for a living,” he said. “Even in high school, you’d think I’d have had a backup plan, but I didn’t.”

The Fredericksburg, Va., 22-year-old got his chance Friday and Saturday at the Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s 40th Annual Bluegrass Music Awards and 31st Midwest Convention at Capitol Plaza Hotel.

He played guitar in three shows with Nothin’ Fancy, a bluegrass band based in Virginia.

Strouth met the band members Wednesday.

“I had messaged the fiddle player (last) Sunday and asked if he knew of any bands looking for a guitar player,” Strouth said. “He said he’d check and then got back to me that his band was looking for one.

“I played a song over the phone, and he was hooked.”

The fiddle player sent Strouth some of the band’s music and Strouth met up with him Wednesday. Thursday, the entire band hit the road for Missouri.

“I had never been to Missouri before this weekend,” Strouth said. “I had no idea several weeks ago that this is where I’d be. I lost my job as a tow truck driver before Christmas.”

Strouth’s been playing music for nearly 10 years. His father taught him how to play when he was 12 or 13 years old.

He said his first time playing with Nothin’ Fancy was a little intimidating.

“They’ve been playing for 20 years and are just great musically, with great vocals,” he said.

He said his gig with Nothin’ Fancy is only for this weekend, but his goal is to find a band to play with permanently.

“My background is bluegrass and gospel,” he said.

Strouth said that while his future certainly includes music, it also includes another love, his fiancee.

“I’d also like to travel the world,” he said.

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