American Nomad SMM 1011
Spruce and Maple Music
American Nomad, the musical brain child of singer-songwriters Hassan El-Tayyab and Shiloh Parkerson, is an award winning acoustic group firmly rooted in the flourishing Bay Area Americana scene. Drawing on influences ranging from bluegrass, folk, swing, blues, and soul, their music creates a classic sound that is brand new, while still embracing the Americana genre. Country Mile is the band’s debut full-length release, produced by Grammy award winning bluegrass and folk musician Laurie Lewis on her Spruce and Maple Music label.
Smart songwriting, heartfelt lyrics, tight rhythms, rich harmonies, and strong musicianship have earned American Nomad a reputation as a band that can intrigue listeners from a wide variety of musical tastes and backgrounds. El-Tayyab, a descendant of Nomadic Bedouins and European immigrants who grew up in the East Coast and Parkerson, a native of Alaska, both came to California on their own personal journeys and began collaborating in 2011.The group has received numerous accolades including:best vocal performance in the 2013 Berkeley Old Time Music Competition, as a finalist in the 2011 International songwriting competition, and were recognized in the 2011 Rocky Mountain Folk Festival Songwriter Competition.
El-Tayyab (guitar, lead vocals) andParkerson (guitar, lead vocals) are joined by a host of first class musicians; Ryan Lukas (stand up bass, harmony vocals – The Brothers Comatose), Mikiya Matsuda (pedal steel, dobro), Mike Daillak (drums), Matt Crimp (violin), Tristan Clarridge (violin, cello – Crooked Still, The Bee Eaters), Patrick Sauber (banjo – Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands), Laurie Lewis (guitar), Spencer Jarret (Harmonica – Otis Rush, Big Mama Thorton) and Kathy Kallick (harmony vocals –Grammy/IBMA winner). The release was recorded at Bird and Egg Studio, engineered by Nino Moschella and mastered by Ken Lee Mastering.
Country Mile features elevenoriginals and two covers;“Hallelujah” written by Martha Scanlan and Ray Lamontagne’s “Big Boned Woman.” Country Mile, the haunting title track, serves as the conceptual thread through the whole record. The phrase “country mile” symbolizes a traveler’s long, unknown journey away from home, overcoming hardships and obstacles along the way and, finally, the emancipation of the spirit as the protagonist takes off on his own path. The longingfor love, overcoming heartbreak, and taking emotional riskson life's journey are also explored Parkerson’s tune “New Heights” and El-Tayyab’s ”Legions of War.”American Nomad’s album explores the vulnerabilities exposed during the traveler’s journey and what isultimately discoveredwithin. These modern-day troubadours are tramping the sometimes dark and dangerous highways and byways of the human soul, and sharing their tales of the road in poetry and song.
American Nomad’s crystalline harmonies, rich storytelling, and heartfelt song-craft inspired producer Laurie Lewis to collaborate on their album: “The blend of Hassan’s and Shiloh’s voices makes my toes curl and my hair stand on end in a most delicious way. When they approached me about producing their album, I jumped at the chance to work closely with these two unique singers and their uncommonly good songs.”
1849 * To Remember * Country Mile * Roam and Travel* New Heights* Love of My Life Tonight * Hallelujah * Big boned Woman *Legions of War * Magpie * The Old Time * With Grace * Be Here Now
“American Nomad have crafted a creative, riveting and wonderful world of music that blends the best of folk, blues and bluegrass for a unique sound all their own. The players are accomplished musicians and the vocal performances of El-Tayyab and Parkerson deliver just the right dose of emotional depth and versatility that the songs on Country Mile call for.”
American Nomad is the creative and completely cool acoustic collaboration between Hassan El-Tayyab and Shiloh Parkerson, a group rooted in the Bay Area Americana music scene. There is a strong narrative thread running throughout this group’s debut LP, Country Mile. There is a heavy nod to traditional folk-blues-bluegrass, but still enough of a modern take to make this a record that would appeal to a wide cross-genre of music fans.
There is an important distinction to make here, however. El-Tayyab and Parkerson are the group’s lead vocalists, who carry the load of the emotional weight evenly between the two of them. But as good as they are as vocalists, they don’t do it alone. Ryan Lukas (stand-up bass, harmony vocals), Matt Crimp (violin), Mikiya Matsuda (pedal steel, dobro), Mike Daillak (drums), Patrick Sauber (banjo) Tristan Clarridge (violin, cello), Laurie Lewis (guitar), T Sisters (harmony vocals), Kathy Kallick (harmony vocals) and Spencer Jarret (harmonica) all contribute to the musical success of this record.
Country Mile features 11 original songs alongside two wonderful (and wisely chosen) covers by Martha Scanlan (“Hallelujah”) and Ray Lamontagne (“Big Boned Woman”). Standout tracks on this solidly delivered record include “1849,” “Roam and Travel,” “Love of My Life Tonight,” “Old Time,” and “Magpie.” But it’s the complex and fantastically arranged and performed title track that makes a bold statement about the group’s unique style. It’s warm, polished and still completely vulnerable to the elements of the outside world.
American Nomad have crafted a creative, riveting and wonderful world of music that blends the best of folk, blues and bluegrass for a unique sound all their own. The players are accomplished musicians and the vocal performances of El-Tayyab and Parkerson deliver just the right dose of emotional depth and versatility that the songs on Country Mile call for. They are equally rooted in traditional styles and progressive in their structure. This is the type of record that sneaks up on you when you least expect it - pretty soon you will be hitting the repeat button and relaxing to the way these songs just saunter through the speakers.
For today's "Song of the Week" we travel to San Francisco to check in with American Nomad, a roots duo fronted by multi-instrumentalists Hassan El-Tayyab and Shiloh Parkerson. The band are firmly entrenched in modern Americana, bridging the gap between swinging country jazz and mystic mountain music, which is quite evident on their newest record Country Mile.
Produced by fiddle and folk stalwart, Laurie Lewis, the pair's latest effort is a perfect example of the benefits of live recording.
"Working with our producer Laurie Lewis on Country Mile has been a blessing. If you've ever met Laurie you know that she is never afraid to speak her mind and is usually right when she does. That is exactly the kind of person we wanted as the producer for our first full length record," the band tells The Sitch.
Title track "Country Mile," begins with lush shivers of a dobro, before El-Tayyab and Parkerson embark on a grueling trek across a remote Southern landscape.
"With her quick decision making and strong direction, we tracked all the basics for 12 songs on our album in just two 10-hour days at Bird and Egg Studio. Laurie got every member of the band to focus on getting the best performances we all had in us. That is how it should be in the studio. Every musician walked away from those two days of live tracking agreeing that was one of the best recording sessions any of us had been a part of, and that Laurie was a key ingredient. We are all lucky to have her sharing her heartfelt music and guiding the next generation of bluegrass and Americana musicians."
Stream "Country Mile" below, then head over to American Nomad’s site to purchase the new record (out May 1 via Spruce and Maple).
Folk Words ~ Tom Franks
When your first reaction is ‘these guys have really got something’ it’s a fair bet the album is set to Country Mile from American Nomadbecome a semi-permanent fixture on your sound system. I’ll state at the outset that ‘Country Mile from acoustic band American Nomad, is a comprehensively fine album. There’s copious volumes of deep-rooted Americana folk-blues pouring through its traditions, there’s also some soundly written original touches built on a contemporary feel that catches from the first.
‘Country Mile’ features eleven self-penned songs plus two excellently-delivered covers. Writing their utterly relevant songs about real-life experiences, incidents and occasions, American Nomad deliver mouth-watering narratives, accomplished musicianship, layered harmonies and driving hook-laden rhythms. From the strong historical narrative of ‘1849’ through the hauntingly delivered tale of ‘Country Mile’ and the softer longing of ‘New Heights’ to the relaxed, laid back enthusiasm in 'Love Of My Life Tonight' and the mournful, petitioning reality of ‘Legions Of War’ there’s an unbroken line of alluring songs. As for the covers, there’s a rare and beautiful take on Martha Scanlan’s ‘Hallelujah’ and I seriously doubt that Ray Lamontagne is in any way disappointed with their view of ‘Big Boned Woman’.
Playing on ‘Country Mile’ are Hassan El-Tayyab (guitar, lead vocals) Shiloh Parkerson (guitar, leads vocals) Ryan Lukas (stand-up bass, harmony vocals) Matt Crimp)violin) Mikiya Matsuda (pedal steel, dobro) Mike Daillak (drums) Patrick Sauber (banjo) Tristan Clarridge (violin, cello) Laurie Lewis (guitar) T Sisters (harmony vocals) Kathy Kallick (harmony vocals) and Spencer Jarret (harmonica).