No Strings Attached is an eclectic and adventurous string band. While the group certainly has one foot in tradition, the award-winning quartet also breaks down barriers and topples the preconceptions of what a string ensemble can do. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the members, who originally came together in Blacksburg, VA, in 1978, emerged from diverse backgrounds.
Vocalist/"bassist" Bob Thomas (acoustic bass, bass clarinet, and bass saxophone) has a background in jazz, rock, and bluegrass, while the other vocalist, Wes Chappell, who is a multi-instrumentalist, is from a rock & roll background. Randy Marchany, who plays the hammer dulcimer and keyboards, was trained as a classical pianist. Harmonica player Pete Hastings, a virtuoso on the chromatic and diatonic harmonicas, rounds out the group. In addition, the quartet's recordings feature not only traditional acoustic music and originals, but also material by artists such as Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, and the Chieftains. No Strings Attached has released several albums and composed and performed the theme song for the PRI radio show World Café. The group's shows feature a wide variety of instruments, including hammer dulcimers, bouzouki, pennywhistle, flute, kalimba synthesizers, clarinets, saxophones, and even a Slinky (yes, the toy) for percussion.