Born December 9, and raised in Timberville, VA, Mike began performing publicly at age 14. He will tell you his music ability is God-given. He plays by ear and has never had any lessons or professional training. Several family members, including his brothers and uncles, influenced Mike with their musical abilities.
Passionate About His Career
In the early 1980s, Mike formed his first band, The East Coast Bluegrass Band and in 1994, was a founding member of Nothin’ Fancy. Mike always wanted a full-time career in music and Nothin’ Fancy has given him the opportunity to fulfill this goal. During his time with Nothin’ Fancy, Mike has been nominated for Mandolin Player of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Individual Entertainer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year through the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA). Mike has become well known as an exceptional MC for the band and keeps the show rolling from song to song with his wit and charm.
Mike has always considered Charlie Waller to be his bluegrass hero. He learned his trade by Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen’s example. The Seldom Scene has also been a huge influence on Mike’s music.
Outside the Band
When Mike is not touring with Nothin’ Fancy, he enjoys building mandolins, fiddles and woodworking in general. He also enjoys the outdoors and gardening with his wife, Becky, at their home in Pataskala, OH. Together, Mike and Becky have three sons, one daughter, a son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren.
I enjoy researching Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel, and Country birthdays, anniversaries and interesting trivia dates. I am a piano/organ performance major who has taught privately and served as church accompanist since 1968 in North Carolina and Central Kentucky. Although classically trained, I appreciate all genres of music. My mother, who was also a church musician and taught public school music grades K-12, knew that Bluegrass music was the purest American music. She always introduced her students to this fine genre and began my musical studies with her at age 2. Bach to Berachah Valley, Mozart to Jimmy Martin, Sibelius to Stanley Brothers, the list goes on, I hope you find some moments of enjoyment and learn a few interesting facts along the way.
I am thankful for the many resources we have at our fingertips including Google. FaceBook and BluegrassBios by Wayne Rice. It was he who inspired me to tackle the task of trying to pass on knowledge about Bluegrass music. Thanks Wayne~!
Lou Ellen Wilkie