This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 9/01
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Fronting a very eclectic set of songs in his latest release, Dave Nachmanoff traverses the human map, exploring wistful memories, human values, working and fractured relationships, irony and meaning in life. The common thread throughout his offerings is an emphasis on the importance of our too-often overlooked commonalties. Our disparities, whether skin color, language, dress or income, may differentiate but our humanity, the need for love, friendship, safety, et. al. ultimately should bind us much more strongly than our differences keep us apart.
The opening song, the title cut, "A Certain Distance," portrays a couple at a critical juncture in their relationship. A separateness has quietly crept into the pairing. Neither party is satisfied yet the direction to head is unclear for both. Nachmanoff's chorus goes:
"...and the satellite is beaming down its signal, to your tiny townHe finishes with:
but nothing's getting through
he's much too far from you and you know it
there's a certain distance..."
"...and there was a time you understood him, or at least you thought you couldIn "Real Good Thing," a soul-baring tribute to his personal relationship, Nachmanoff offers:
but now you're not so sure, you can't make out the words
of the poet..."
"...I know it's hard, sharing your life with a dreamerHe sings in "All Too Human" of the daily confusion and frustration in the search for life's meaning. His chorus:
but I've been lucky
and a lot of my dreams have come true
even when I've doubted myself, you've been a believer
but my most important dream
was to be part of your dreams too..."
"...I'm human, all too human"Glorious" celebrates the communal human spirit, from a baby's first breath to an elder's last gasp. Again, getting past surface differences to see our connectedness, despite however and wherever we end up, is Nachmanoff's binding message.
trying to make some sense out of it all
I'm human, all too human
just a prisoner who sometimes uses reason
sometimes uses heart
to see beyond these shadows
as they flicker on the wall..."
Irony abounds in "The Loyalist," a true story about relatives of Nachmanoff's wife. Forced to flee German religious persecution in the 1760s, they came to the Colonies under the auspices of Britain's King George III. Thankful for the opportunity to settle back into a normal life, they soon were caught in the middle when the American Revolution broke out. Feeling an indebtedness to the Crown, the family is eventually forced to flee again, this time to Nova Scotia. This ballad is an intriguing example of how our life experiences color right and wrong and how we define freedom.
"Flying A Sign" calls for greater understanding of the poor and downtrodden. Those holding up assistance signs by the roadway may seem so different from us, but we could very well find ourselves in such a situation from just one accident, misstep or intervention of fate.
Nachmanoff doesn't preach--more than anything else, he shares. You'll be glad he did.
Nachmanoff on vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, and violin is assisted by Don Conoscenti on vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, bass, percussion and recorder; Bob Malone on piano, electric piano, organ and accordion; Keith Crane on drums; Mike Lindauer on fretless bass; Rachel McCartney on vocals and Jessie Holladay on vocals.
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