American Nomad just launched a Kickstarter!
American Nomad has some exciting news! Our Kickstarter page is officially LIVE! If you hadn’t heard, we are launching this fundraising campaign to help us pay for our upcoming album Country Mile.
We’ll be tracking in July and working with Grammy winning producer Laurie Lewis. We are looking to raise $8,500 and taking 60 days to do so. Our last full day of fundraising will be on the 4th of July. That coincidence was not planned… it just kinda worked out that way. If you can check out the page, give what you can, and share it with your friends and family. Any help would be amazing.
Here is the link spelled out…
Bay Area Bluegrass Legend, Laurie Lewis to produce American Nomad’s next album!
We are so excited to be announcing that Grammy Award winning, and Bay Area Bluegrass Legend Laurie Lewis will be producing American Nomad’s first full length studio album over the summer.
If you don’t know about Laurie, here is a little write up about her by Darol Anger.
“It’s possible to be a strong female presence in the Bluegrass music world, but you have to be really strong. Laurie is one of the greatest Bluegrass artists, woman or man, because of her consistency over decades, the depth and width of her subject matter, her commitment to the Bluegrass form, and her technical command. Oh yes, and her strength. Laurie’s strength manifests in many ways: her commanding presence on stage combined with an emotional vulnerability, the truths in her lyrics, her physical voice which transcends gender, her strong commitment to causes and issues in which she deeply believes, which all resonate with a respect for the land, the natural world, and human mercy and justice.” -Darol Anger
More on Laurie here… http://www.laurielewis.com/
Needless to say, we are so lucky to have such experienced ears on our music. Keep on the look out about our forthcoming Kickstarter fundraiser!
American Nomad fundraiser for Learning Without Limits raises $1,000.00!
Thanks to all who came to our show January 26th! With the help of the T sisters, Jesse Herrera and the Place for Sustainable Living, we were able to get public/charter school Learning Without Limits 1,000 bucks toward helping their kids read! What a fun time. I’ve never seen so many people doing contact improve dancing for such a good cause.
Here is a letter from one of the school’s teachers if you want more info…
Dear Friends and Family,
I’m writing because my school, my students, and I need your help. As you know, I teach kindergarten in a high-need area of East Oakland at a public school called Learning Without Limits Academy. While my students and their families are amazing, we are attempting to stay afloat in a profoundly broken educational system. It’s a sad fact that on top of working 10-12 hour days teaching, planning, communicating with parents, evaluating data, professionally developing our practice, and supporting our students, we educators need to be our own and our students’ financial advocates as well. But we live in a country where education is undervalued, particularly for students of color who live in low income areas. I do the work I do because I believe deeply in the power of public education to transform communities, and am committed to getting my students the services they deserve.
A little about the community where I teach: most of my students have not been to preschool, almost all are learning English as a second language, and violence and trauma is a very real part of many of my students’ lives. While our first priority as educators is ensuring our students have strong literacy and math reasoning skills that will ensure they feel confident and successful in school, this alone is not enough to enrich their lives and instill a love of learning.
We are trying to go Beyond the Basics at Learning Without Limits and provide our children arts, enrichment, sports, rich classroom libraries, field work experiences, social and emotional support, and more. Our school has accomplished so much, but California continues to decimate public school funding, and we need to raise additional funds this year to deliver a high quality, equitable education for our children. We all know that a quality education can’t just be reading, writing, and math. The current state funding barely provides enough resources for the core programming, and our children definitely deserve more.
We are currently seeking funds for our $200K “Beyond the Basics Campaign.” 100% of the funds you donate will go to my school’s budget where staff come together to make decisions about how to allocate our resources. We will use the money to hire music and martial arts teachers, establish our school garden, fund more field trips and service learning projects, and provide one-on-one intervention support for all students who need it.
Not only will my school directly receive 100% of funds that you donate, but we’ve also been offered a generous gift from a donor: The school that amasses the most donors between now and January 31st will get an additional $20,000 for their school, on top of getting to keep everything we raise.
My goal is to have 20 people donate (any amount) by the end of January. You can give online safely and securely here, at my fundraising page: http://fundly.com/sonya-mehta-beyond-the-basics. Just to be clear, it’s the number of donors that matters, not the amount raised, so I’m not exaggerating when I say that no amount is too small – even $10 will be deeply appreciated. And, of course, please feel free to pass along to friends and family who might also like to help.
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer! The work I do isn’t easy, but knowing you all support me propels me to keep fighting the good fight in the education system.
Love and light to you all,
Temple Sunrise is in the finals for ISC’s Best Instrumental Song of 2011!
Wow!!! “Temple Sunrise” is in the finals for Best Instrumental Song in 2011, for the International Songwriting Competition! Out of 16,000 songs submitted they only picked 16 Instrumental finalists! Pretty cool… We find out who wins in late April. Although I think competitions in music are bogus, as art is totally subjective, getting a few extra bucks to put towards the next record is kinda cool too.
Honorable Mention at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival!
Here is a tid bit of good news. We got honorable mention at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. Truly an honor!
Check out this URL to see the other folks that got selected!
News on American Nomad’s Debut EP
Just got the harmony tracks back from Boston. Some local favorites Mark Lipman, and Olinde Mandell laid some background vocals on our EP. Having them record on an album of mine has been a dream come true. They really are some of my favorite vocalists, as well as amazing singer/songwriters in their own right. The album is scheduled to be mixed and mastered sometime in early January. Looking to forward to getting American Nomad’s first release Temple Sunrise EP out soon!
Northwest Tour with Teresa Storch
I’m back from my Northwest tour with Teresa Storch. Check out talented singer/songwriter at www.teresastorch.com. Our 3-week tour in November of 2010 took us from San Francisco, up to Ashland, Salem, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Spokane, Washington, to Bozeman, Montana, Denver, Colorado, then back to the bay on the Amtrak through the Rockies. Met lots of great folks and had the pleasure of sleeping in actual beds for the whole adventure. Thanks Teresa for having me along. Look forward to your new record coming out in 2011!
Back from Summer Tour and Burning Man
After about 15,000 miles in just over two months, I am finally back in Berkley, CA. Good to be home after the summer tour(s) and Burning Man. Yes, I said home for all of you folks wondering if I was leaving CA for good. I’ll be sticking around.
To many of you on this list who I recently added over the last couple months of touring, thanks for the amazing support all summer long. (I was the opener for Dum Spiro Spero and you signed my American Nomad Music email list by accident… jk) We couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks again for the meals, couches, the love, encouragement, and the friendship. Driving 12 hours just wouldn’t feel worth it without quality people to rock out with. Special thanks to the smaller towns we played in, that really surprised me. Moscow, ID, Farmington, MO, Ames, IA, and Dickenson, ND, to name a few. Don’t be fooled by any proof-less preconceptions you have. They are all definitely worth a visit!
Another thanks to Todd, Adam, Kathryn, and Dan, whom I shared the first leg of the journey with. That was a really great hang! Nothing beats traveling with old friends. Also, a big thanks to Dum Spiro Spero and crew for inviting me along and allowing me to share in their musical adventure as both an opener and accompanist. You guys are a really great group with a lot of passion for your art. Keep up the great music! Thanks to the entire Temple Crew at Burning Man this year for creating a place for godless heathens like myself to feel a context for personal spirituality and connectedness without any dogma attached. Being in the inner ring during the burn with all of you this year was truly an honor. You are all truly an inspired and talented group of individuals.
Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCkKFMKO5sM&feature=related for a video of this years’ Temple burn.
It will take a while for me to really process all that just happened over the past few months. It almost seems like a blurry dream… (except I am waking up really tired and wondering if I got any sleep at all) When you want something really bad and it happens, you can sometimes get left with a strange feeling. Maybe it’s just part of our human or possibly American condition, but it seems like we are better at striving to satisfy our desires than actually being satisfied. It reminds me to go back to the beginning and just slow down a bit. I am taking the next few days to do just that! Said best in the words of the late great Bill Hicks, “It’s just a ride.” I’ll try and remember that as I enter the next phase of my time in CA.
I guess that is all from me for the time being. Got a lot of work to do now with tracking the rest of the EP. Going to work hard to get it out as soon as I can. Working on booking more shows as well. I hope this message finds you all well and thanks again for reading. Take care.
2010 Summer Tour Continued…
Writing from Boulder, CO today… going to keep this short, as we are leaving for our next destination soon… (The Great Sand Dunes in Colorado)
Todd, Adam, and I’s first stop was Napoleon Ohio, where we stayed with my friend Alanna and her new husband Kurt. That evening we arrived we had a great jam with them… Alanna stole the show with a great version of “Working Class Hero”. The next morning, we headed for a local diner, where one of my travel companions (Adam) so bravely tried prettles… a mixture of all left over meat and bones from a cow. Apparently it’s a big deal around there. He survived somehow despite the warnings from the cook and the waitress. As we left, the waitress asked our names… when I said Hassan, she said, “Oh, like Hussein but cleaned up a bit.” Interesting I thought… Anyway, big thanks to Alanna and Kurt of the hospitality!
The next day we took Route 90 up to Chicago through miles and miles of corn fields and minor tornado wreckage. The rolling hills served as a back drop to hours of free styling, beat boxing, political rants and philosophical idea sharing. It flew by for me at least… Chicago was our first official musical performance. It was fun despite our exhaustion from driving. Todd Marston really rocked that evening! Thanks to Dan and Amanda for the great hospitality! (FYI, their house was just on that show Yard Crashers… their back yard looks amazing now!)
The next morning we cruised down route 80 though Iowa and Nebraska. We experienced another never ending sea of corn stalks, wind mills, silos, and republican themed truck stops. I had to convince Adam not to purchase a T shirt that said “Got Hope” with a thorny crowned Jesus in place of the famous colored picture of Obama…
After a pulling into North Plate, we grabbed a motel and got some much needed rest. In the morning we hit up a health food store and somehow were convinced to perform a song for the 3 elderly women working there. Random fun.
Finally we made it to Boulder after lots of miles in the car. Played a show at the Laughing Goat on Pearl Street last night and had a blast. Our fellowship is now 5 people, including myself, Todd, Adam, and two new passengers Kathryn, and Dan. Looking forward to getting back on the road and seeing the Great Sand Dunes tonight. That is all for me right now. Hope you all are well, and thanks for reading.
Summer tour 2010
I am back in Massachusetts after a 6-hour red eye flight I almost missed. It is never good when the lady at the bag check counter tells you to run as fast as you can…. Anyway, been gone for about a year now… the time does fly. Looking forward to seeing old friends and some family. Looking forward to more travel as well. I’ll be back in Boston for about 3 weeks and then hit the road July 19th for the first official extended national music tour of my life. The tour will take me from Boston, Missouri, Boulder, around the South West and then back to SF…. and then from SF to Oregon, Washington State, across the Midwest, NY, Boston, PA, back across the Midwest. The band I am traveling with will then drop me off at Burning Man August 30th. I am signed up to help with the breakdown of this years Temple.
Overall, I feel really good about it all and hope more good fortune smiles at me. I feel blessed to have experienced what I have over the past year. I feel like learned so much about so much. It’s hard to put it into words really. I find I am a bit overwhelmed when people have asked me to describe what I have been doing for the past year. I want to say thanks to all the folks in CA that took some random wanderer into their amazing community and feel really welcome almost immediately. Also, thanks to you folks on the east coast for being supportive of me in my absence. I missed you guys a lot. Thanks again for reading and look out for more stories on the blog.