Mark Nomad

Mark Nomad
Electric Church

Blue Star Records

By Art Tipaldi
January 2008

Itís been a few years since we last heard from Western Mass. guitarist Mark Nomad.

In the 1970s, Nomad was a founding member of the high-energy Connecticut blues-rock band, Little Village. In the 1990s, Nomad focused his energies on the blues, and throughout that decade, he scored critical attention with his unique blend of electric and acoustic blues.

In the past year, Nomad has released two records that reflect his wide-ranging approach.

Acoustic Land is a compilation of all his 1990 acoustic blues recordings. There are Gospel blues classics such as Blind Willie Johnsonís “God Donít Never Change,” and “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning” set next to Skip Jamesí more secular “Special rider.”

At the same time, Nomad sings his own tunes like “Green Eyes,” “Got to carry On,” and his own gospel tinged “Heavenly Bound.”

Electric Church, however, is a brand new sonic effort from Nomad.

His first tune, “Stateside Blues,” was originally a political statement from his Little Village days. Nomad changed the lyrics to fit the times and his state of consciousness and viola - the corrupt morals havenít changed much. Then, they sang “Don't come to me with your thundering thighs;” today he sings, “Don't come to me with your corporate lies.” In the middle, Nomadís high-speed slide still has the fire of those Little Village days.

From there, Nomadís musical journey explores the assortment of music that has been at the core of his spirit.

“Angel Boy” is a blues rocker led by Nomadís explosive slide. He follows that with “Suite Freedom,” a quietly poignant gem that relies on subtle string nuances which paint delicately on Nomadís canvas.

“Mists Of Avalon” is a six-minute head trip. Wah-wah tones fade in and out. Find your old strobe light, love beads and headbands, cuz this is what the Summer of Love sounded like in the Fillmore.

Nomad also covers three of his important blues mentors.

With a solemn country slide in hand, he delivers a powerful cover of Mississippi Fred McDowellís “Heard Somebody Call.” There is always a fiery wedge of Magic Samís West Side blues guitar in Nomad. Here he covers Samís “All My Whole Life.” Because no blues guitarist can resist playing a John Lee Hooker boogie, Nomad takes “Come Back Baby” back to the days of Hookerís Modern Recordings.

Nomad wraps up the tour with two originals, a funky “Itís All Gonna Change,” and “Hannah Lee,” a slick slide guitar, road trip perfect for a Friday night, windows down, drive.

With over 30 years of professional experience singing, writing, and playing, and with a deep understanding of the blues - acoustic or electric - Mark Nomad has grown into a fine musician whose been entrusted to keep this music alive and growing..

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