Dave grew up surrounded by the active folk scene of Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.during the 1960s and 70s, where he was exposed to a variety of musical traditions and was inspired by performers like Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.
At age 9, Dave wrote his first song - the same year he met the legendary Libba Cotton ("Freight Train") and was invited to accompany her on stage. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, he continued to write and perform, both solo and with several bands in the D.C. area, London, and New York City.
He studied music and philosophy at Columbia and Oxford universities, earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Davis (1997), and promptly retired from academia to dedicate himself to music.
From a review in the Davis Enterprise (August 1998)by David Meyers:
"He may sing about being a square peg in a round hole, but a Dave Nachmanoff recording fits perfectly in anybody's music collection. His latest, "Snapshots," is quite simply a work of art. It's a safe bet that we won't find anyone who doesn't like this disc. One of the reasons for its easy appreciation, among other things, is that it bridges so many gaps.
Whether he's joking about love on-line ("Sometimes I Wish that You Could Spell"), anomalous weather phenomena ("Blame it all on El Nino") or how his new-found dog has changed his life ("He Threw Himself into Our Lives When He Threw Himself Into Our Car"), Dave's wit presents itself gently enough for everyone to understand, yet with a not-so-subtle sophistication that allows you to process it at your own pace.
Recorded to a packed Palms this past April -- it seemed like the whole town was there, until we realized they were turning folks away -- the disc also taps Dave's softer side, with some beautiful tunes about life and love, topped by "Thing of Beauty" and "I'm From Nowhere."
Of course, having a doctorate in philosophy certainly helps explain how he's able to present his ideas and weave those thoughts with such good music. Often hailed as a cross between Bruce Springsteen and Arlo Guthrie, it doesn't take but a moment to realize that Dave could open for James Taylor, Judas Priest or Ray Charles on any given weekend.
And the way he's going, he just might..."