American Nomad is an award winning acoustic group in the widely eclectic Bay Area music scene. They were honored for 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 2013 and 2011 Rocky Mountain Folk Festival Songwriter Competition. Rooted in Americana and folk/swing traditions, their carefully crafted original music maintains a modern relevance. Smart songwriting, catchy lyrics, tight rhythms, rich harmonies, and strong musicianship have already begun to earn American Nomad a reputation as a band that can intrigue listeners from a wide variety of musical tastes and backgrounds. Keeping in line with the ancient troubadour tradition, American Nomad draws from the spirit of travel and authentic life experience.
2014 was a break out year for American Nomad, performing at some of the Bay Area’s finest venues including the Independent, The Chapel, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Slim’s and Ashkenaz. They performed at The Strawberry Music Festival, and the Grass Valley Fathers Day Bluegrass Festival as well. In addition, American Nomad did a radio interview with Dave Iverson from KQED Forums. They had their debut appearance on KPFA’s America’s Back 40 with Mary Tilson. Later in the year American Nomad was interviewed and featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, they got into American Songwriter Magazine and Acoustic Guitar Magazine, were featured on NPR’s Folk Alley, got Honorable Mention at Folks Fest Song competition, released a 13 song album called Country Mile, worked along side their producer Laurie Lewis, toured Alaska, the Northwest, Colorado, and LA.
The group’s originator, Hassan El-Tayyab, is a descendant of Nomadic Bedouins wandering the Middle East and European immigrants, making him pretty American, we’d say. He developed an interest early on in writing music and performing at local coffee houses and bars around the South Shore of Massachusetts. He later moved to Boston where he quickly immersed himself in the music scene of Cambridge, with its richly talented artists and dynamic roots. He continued to write and perform original music, simultaneously supporting various Boston singer/songwriters and bands on stage with his guitar and mandolin. Things were rolling along until 2009, which ended up being a pretty tough year for various reasons. Hassan felt it would be a good idea to get out of town for a while and process it all. He jumped in his Chevy Malibu and spent the next few months driving around America.
In traveling around the country, Hassan found many interesting people and places, but things took an unexpected twist when he randomly stumbled upon a peculiar metal shop in Berkeley, California, called the Shipyard. There he met a bunch of metal artists working on a gigantic fire-breathing art project called the Fishbug. Two weeks later, he found himself at Burning Man helping out with fire safety for the art piece. Out on the playa, Hassan made some profound realizations about his life and decided maybe it was time to try something new. Once the festival was over, he moved back to Berkeley to give “something new” a try. That something new was to create an acoustic Americana band called American Nomad. He’s been working at it ever since.