By Michele Murphy
In the quest to keep tabs on some of our most popular SLV artists, we caught up with Nomad, beloved Felton resident and magical music maker, who can often be found gracing the stages of many local establishments. Singer-songwriter Dave “Nomad” Miller spent years on the road performing as a solo artist; his travels and adventures back and forth across the country helped shape his songwriting. The songs he writes are filled with thought-provoking lyrics and great melodies that linger in one’s head.
According to Miller, “Sometimes you feel the need to pack your things and go, even if you’re not sure where it is exactly that you’re going. Tough decisions like that can often turn out to be the best ones made.” When he decided to trust his cape and take that leap, it turned into a love affair with the open road that lasted for seven years. Zig-zagging back and forth across America and playing music along the way is when he began performing under the name “Nomad.”
Once the wanderlust subsided, Nomad decided to expand his music into a full band setting once again and he formed Drifting Compass. Whether solo or in a band setting, all offerings feature his original songs as well as interpretations of a variety of cover songs from across genres, mixing it up and turning it all into the sound of Rock & Roll, Americana, and even some Alt-Country.
Born Amish in Central Illinois and raised Mennonite in Northern Indiana, Nomad has some very unique roots that have helped nourish his growth into the person he is today. As a songwriter, his songs are filled with thought-provoking stories and troubadour wisdom, which he absorbed through his travels on the road and through his journey through life.
Nomad has been performing solo-acoustically across the U.S. for over 25 years. In 1996, he released his first solo album, “Full Circle,” recorded in true DIY style on a small, portable 4-track recorder. The recording was released on cassette and featured his guitar and vocals. In 2001, he released another solo album, “Trails To Hear And Now.” That album featured a full band sound, on which he played all of the instruments. Drifting Compass released an album in 2015, entitled “Grains Of Sand,” and another album in 2016 called “Grit.” Both albums feature more of Nomad’s great travel-worn songwriting.
Nomad played his last live show on March 14, and then the world as we all know it changed, especially for musicians, almost overnight. “It was like a punch in the gut,” he said upon learning that all his gigs would be cancelled for an indefinite amount of time. After making the massive leap of faith to become a full-time working musician just about a year ago, he had some moments of doubt and pain. He has a terrific attitude that he thinks will carry him through – something often referred to as faith. Faith in himself and the Universe’s plan for him and his music. At the start of the SIP, he immediately started hosting a live stream on his Facebook page on Thursdays at 5:00. According to Nomad, it’s been like a virtual party each week, with music lovers joining in from all over the US and far flung places like Chile and New Zealand. Lasting relationships have been formed through friendly banter amongst fans during the livestreams. So as the world gradually reopens, Nomad has begun performing live once again. He performs at Capitola Wine Bar on Friday, July 24. We anxiously await the reopening of more SLV music venues.
Follow Nomad online at nomadicbliss.com and Facecbook @nomadbliss.