Dave Nachmanoff at Borders Books and Music, San Rafael, CA, March 28 1997

Review by Bob Baker

Folks, this was an outstanding performance. The turnout was quite good and the audience very attentive and appreciative of the talent picking, strumming, singing and introducing songs. This show was pure acoustic guitar (a six and a twelve string) and served as an outstanding display of Dave's prowess as axe master. His techniques are varied, compelling and impeccably clean. Included in this performance were flat picking, finger picking, artificial harmonics combined with appregiated open and fretted notes, hammer on/pull offs on the down side of the capo(!), and a plethora of other techniques encompassing folk, rock, country, and a generous serving of jazz (allegedly by request). Dave's musical and vocal execution serve to compliment his thoughtful, articulate and sometimes humorous lyrics quite nicely.

Themes ranged from a tequila anthem ("Cactus Juice") to "Descartes in Amsterdam". Dave was joined by Paul Robinson (Lead guitarist with Dan Hicks), early in the show and played a beautiful tune together called, "Lady be Good". Later in the evening, I had the pleasure/humility of listening to Paul play solo guitar with a nice effects box for an extended period. His specialty would appear to be swing/jazz - just what were those chords anyway!- but he also sampled the gamut, touching on Black Sabbath and other extremes in genre and style. He also threw in a little "Night Train to Munich" teaser. I couldn't help but consider what a terrific partnership Paul and Al would comprise. I haven't been so lucky as to hear her, but Paul's wife, Jill, is also a musician and has very new or impending release.

Back to Dave's show: here's an incomplete set list: Cactus Juice; Not What I expected (capo 5th); Without a Compass; Lady be Good (again, with Paul Robinson on guitar and Violet Stewart on foot); Descartes in Amsterdam (capo 5th/fingerstyle); Candy Shower (capo 2nd/this is the title track of Dave's new, impending release); The River is Wide (fingerstyle instrumental/Al appeared particularly fond of this one); Postcard to Stan (sung from a woman's perspective); Tears (by Django Reinhardt and Stefan Grapelli); Circus (capo 2nd). Finally, in the spirit of the evening's jazz requests, Dave plugged Peter White/Al Stewart and played a wonderful End of the Day. It'd behoove all you Northern Californians to catch a Dave Nachmanoff gig very soon. He's a long time Al Stewart fan, terrific entertainer and again, a very nice guy. Those elsewhere ought to check out the web page, lend your ear to "Candy Shower" and enjoy.

Dweller on the Threshold: The Dave Nachmanoff Web Site