BLUES MUSIC Online

ALBUM REVIEW

MARK NOMAD

All One

Blue Star Records

Pictured sitting on a stool on a porch holding a National Tricone Resonator guitar with a harp on a rack around his neck, Singer/

Songwriter Mark Nomad recorded All One’s 11 songs in the mysteriously credited “Completely live, some place, some time.” Chicago born and bred in the blues, he founded a Connecticut group in the ‘70s called Little Village, in homage to Sonny Boy Williamson II’s not-suitable-for- airplay song from his 1969 LP Bummer Road. Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, Nick Lowe, and Jim Keltner also formed a Little Village band in 1992page19image3605312

with the same inspiration for their group’s name. A Massachusetts resident now, Nomad displays a deft touch on his Resonator guitar and his vocals are phrased as if they were conjoined twins with his instrument in their timbre. His harp playing, in the first position, is a pleasant accompaniment to his songs, and an occasional whoop from the small audience at this intimate recording validates his talent. The opening song, “My Mind Gets To Wandering” starts off with his slide work while other songs reveal his talented finger picking skills. He nails the slide precisely on the two Mississippi Fred McDowell songs, “You Got To Move” and “My Trouble Blues” that each elicited more applause. The title cut, “All One,” is saved for last and is worth the wait with his voice offering a delicate intimacy to the words as his harp blows sweetly and the guitar played gently as he sings, “So I take this blues all alone, and make this blues for my own, and I ache with this blues now that she’s gone, alone means all one.” His seven original tunes are complemented by Willie Dixon’s “Mellow Down Easy,” the two McDowell

songs, and Larry Williams’ “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.”
Nomad has several prior solo acoustic and full band CDs available for

both purchase and to hear on Spotify and iTunes. After you listen to All One, you’ll want to hear more of his talents.

Pete Sardon

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BLUES MATTERS June/July Issue

MARK NOMAD

ALL ONE

Blue Star Records

The album arrived with a description of Delta Blues & beyond. I could not have described it better myself. Mark Nomad sings, plays acoustic guitar, and harmonica on what is a truly solo effort in every sense of the term. Out of the eleven tracks on the album , Mark Nomad has written seven of them. The opening track, My Mind Gets To Wanderin’ Nomad shows that he understands Delta and Country blues as much as the next guy. Simple finger-picking guitar, wonderful harmonica, and bluesy lyrics have already got me hooked. Delta blues and country blues are close bedfellows, go back to the 1920s and you’ll see the closeness and rawness in every artist from Charley Patton to Blind Lemon Jefferson, and everyone in-between. As well as his own compositions there are notable tunes from a couple of Delta stalwarts. Mellow Down Easy by Willie Dixon is one such number. Many people have covered tunes by Willie Dixon, but not so many get an acoustic outing. Nomad has released ten albums before this one, so he knows exactly what he’s doing. Recording an album such as this, and covering tunes by artists such as Dixon makes me realize that this sorts the wheat from the chaff. One man and his guitar have long been the stereotypical notion of the Delta blues, what Mark Nomad does is bring it bang up to date while still having the same feel as artists did a hundred years ago. Go To Carry on is a fine example of this. Wailing blues harmonica coupled with deep gravelly vocals and fine acoustic guitar only further endorse Nomad as a true Delta blues artist. Throw in a couple of tunes by Mississippi Fred McDowell for good measure, and what you have is a stunning country blues offering. Nothing fancy, no long solos, no overdubs, just great country blues. The title track ends the album, an album that has made this writer a very happy bunny indeed. See for yourself, grab a copy.

STEPHEN HARRISON  

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