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by Jamie Anderson

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Dave Nachmanoff saw Al Stewart ("Year of the Cat") live for the first time at Royal Albert Hall in London in 1985 and in 2006 came back and performed with him. At the age of ten he played with Libba Cotten (“Freight Train”). He’s led songwriting workshops for many groups, from German school children to the Silcocks, a family with 44 adopted boys. In addition, he’s a heckofa songwriter in styles ranging from folk to pop who’s sold over 20,000 recordings. Dave’s the father of two and writes custom songs for weddings and other special occasions. As a side player (guitar, piano, bass, accordion and more) he’s worked with Stewart on a regular basis as well as many others at hundreds of venues as far ranging as The Bottom Line, Glastonbury Festival, and the Edmonton Folk Festival. Oh, and he’s got a doctorate in Philosophy. That he earned in his spare time.

Dave grew up in the 60’s and 70’s surrounded by the active folk scene of northern Virginia and Washington DC and inspired by Pete Seeger, country rock, early revival folk like the Kingston Trio and later on, 80’s new wave. Toss in a bit of Celtic folk-rock a la Fairport Convention and it’s clear how he got his rich melodic sound.

He produced and played on Al Stewart’s newest, Uncorked. It’s an exciting live recording of Stewart’s songs, their guitars and voices so full and in sync you’ll swear it’s a whole band. In “News from Spain” Al Jokes that Dave had to duplicate Rick Wakeman’s piano solo and indeed he does, with a Spanish flair that ends in a flurry of notes. In “Carol,” he offers a rhythmic compliment to Al’s strumming, including a breath taking set of arpeggios that brings the crowd to their feet. “A bonus on every song is the fine guitar playing of Nachmanoff, who blends with Stewart’s guitar very well and adds considerable musical interest to the proceedings …” Mike O’Cull,

His latest CD, Step Up, released in 2011 - his first solo release in five years - was produced by Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson, Steve Morse), and features musicians Bob Malone (currently playing keyboards for John Fogerty), Ian Sheridan (former bassist for Jason Mraz) and Victor Bisetti (former drummer for Los Lobos), and vocalists Al Stewart, Rosemary Butler, John Wicks, and Liz Bligan. He’s got nine albums in all, including his first, Candy Shower, released in 1997. Get his CDs at or from many outlets including CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and many more.

With a personable style that’s adaptable to a variety of stages, he looks larger than life although he’s a vertically challenged five foot two (and no, he doesn’t have blue eyes). He’s that neighbor who always has a friendly wave but doesn’t keep you from dinner. You’ll probably forget about that meal anyway when he starts to tell his stories and sing his well-crafted tunes in a voice like an older Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20) but a guitar style that’s more Mark Knopfler or Richard Thompson. And just as versatile too.

He’s shared the stage with Cheryl Wheeler, Steve Forbert, The Pogues, America, Rodney Crowell, Alison Krauss and many others.

If you’re looking for a unique gift or a way to celebrate your wedding or other important event, ask Dave about writing you a custom song. It’ll be much more appreciated than another blender and it’ll be remembered for years.

Just Plain Folks honored him with the 2001 Songwriter of the Year award. He was a finalist in the 2011 USA Songwriting Competition. For five consecutive years he was the Susan Lucci of the South Florida Folk Festival, earning a place as a finalist before winning Best Overall in 2002. SingOut! has praised his “… heartfelt, inspired songwriting … with a delivery both biting and assured.” He’s busy but he’s always got time for a fun gig and a good story. If you’re an artist who needs a side player, he’s your guy. Heck, he could be your entire band. Whether you’re a concert junkie, participating in one of his songwriting classes or listening to your custom song, you’ll walk away from your Dave Nachmanoff experience wondering why he hasn’t yet learned to play anything with his feet. Why not? He’s done everything else.




Dave is a member of the North American Traveling Musicians Union (Local 1000 AFM AFL-CIO) and is a BMI writer/publisher affiliate.


Step Up (Troubador Records, 2011) - Produced by Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson, Steve Morse), this album is Dave's first solo release in five years and features top flight musicians, singers and songs.

Uncorked - Al Stewart Live with Dave Nachmanoff (Wallaby Trails Records, 2009) -  A live album with historical folk rock singer-songwriter Al Stewart. Produced by Dave Nachmanoff.

Time Before the Fall (Troubador Records, 2006) A powerful collection of new songs, many events from recent US history. Produced by Ben Decter.

Wordless Rhymes (Troubador Records, 2005) A all-instrumental tribute to Al Stewart, with some of Dave's favorite songs by Al reinterpreted. Al guests on guitar.

Threads of Time (Troubador Records, 2004) Recorded with brothers Jeffrey & Michael Nachmanoff, featuring some songs by Pete Hamilton

Another Big Day (Naked Goose Records, 2002) Family CD, written and recorded with Ben Decter

Holy Smokes! Ice Cream for Breakfast (Troubador Records 2002) Songs from the Davis Elders Song Project

A Certain Distance (Troubador Records, 2000) - Solo studio recording, produced by Don Conoscenti

Snapshots (Troubador Records, 1998) - Solo live recording

Candy Shower (Troubador Records, 1997) - Solo studio recording, first CD release

Dweller on the Threshold (Troubador Records, 1994) - Solo studio recording [cassette only - out of print]

Down on the Soundfarm (Troubador Records, 1993) "Virtually live" studio recording, with Dave and the Generators - [cassette only - out of print]



Custom Songs

Have you ever wanted to present a song to someone for a special occasion? For centuries, troubadours have composed songs about current events or famous people. Modern day troubadour, Dave Nachmanoff will write a song for your event, record it, and present it to you with a fully produced CD, custom-made to order!

You can have Dave write and record the song from scratch. Send him the information that he needs to construct the lyrics (words), and guidelines on the musical style (if you have a preference), and he will create an original song. Once the draft is written he will send you a 'rough' recording to get approval, and then send the 'master' recording once it has been approved.

Or, you can write the song with Dave, then have him record it. Or if you are musically inclined, record it with him. Dr. Dave has co-written songs with people from five years old to ninety-five (literally).

Or, you can write the song yourself, then have Dave arrange and record it, with or without you on the recording. Any option can be done in person, or long distance, although if you want to sing on the recording you will have to come to Davis, CA, or bring Dave to your area and find a studio.

The base price for this fully realized recording is $1000, though depending on instrumentation, turn-around time, etc... it may vary somewhat, call for details.

The package includes - a CD with the song, simple original artwork (cover, tray-card and label on CD). If additional copies are needed, you can simply have them duped, or pay $3 per additional copy (up to 25 copies) for Dave to dupe them. For larger orders, special arrangements can be made

Suggestions for occasions for custom songs:

  • Weddings
  • New jobs
  • Graduations
  • Retirements
  • Funerals
  • Roasts
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
  • Birthdays
  • Mother's Day
  • New babies
  • Jingles for small businesses
  • Valentine's Day
  • Father's Day
  • Civic celebrations
  • store/restaurant openings
  • songs for home movies/videos

    For some samples of custom songs by Dave, visit the Music Clips page on this site!



    Dave The Psychic Sideman

    In addition to Dave's work as a performing songwriter, he is a session musician, doing studio work for others, and also appears as a sideman (primarily for Al Stewart), often acting as "house musician" at Folk festivals, sitting in with many performers. Amy Carol Webb, a wonderful singer/songwriter from South Florida, coined the name "the psychic sideman" for Dave, after watching the way that he would jump in and play songs that he'd never heard, in front of a festival audience, accompanying people that he'd just met.

    If you are an artist interested in having Dave accompany you, either live or in the studio, please go to the contact section of this site. With his own studio (Nachville Recording), Dave is doing a lot of "long-distance" session work too, where musicians send him tracks, and he adds his parts, sending them back on a disk or digital tape. He can often provide one-stop shopping, playing all the backing tracks himself. For pricing on live and studio sidework, please call or email.