Points Of Light out on 11/3
“Red Red Bird,” one of Noah’s beloved songs, is a highlight
“a stunning guitarist…no stylistic boundaries” – Holger Peterson, CBC
A tapestry of sounds from folk to blues to rock will mesmerize your ears and inspire your soul as Noah Zacharin sets his sights on releasing Points Of Light on November 3, 2023.
This is Noah’s ninth album, produced by Juno Award Winning Danny Greenspoon (Ian Tyson, The Paperboys) at Canterbury Sound. Musical guests on the album include Marc Ribot (ukulele), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), and Kevin Breit (various strings), with Russ Boswell and Gary Craig on bass and drums–all helping to mix up the arrangements from solo to full band.
While all 11 songs are timeless, one of the standouts is “Red Red Bird,” a signature song from Noah’s catalog that he has now properly recorded. A poetic declaration of love and redemption of a struggling relationship, Noah has sung the song live at his shows over the years, and now the album version is complete with B3 organ (Denis Keldie), pedal steel (Burke Carroll), and mandocello (Kevin Breit), elevating the message. It was translated into Spanish by singer Laura Fernandez in 2010 and hailed by critics as a masterpiece.
“I started playing it on a more regular basis,” he said, “just based on Laura’s having essentially revived it, taking it out of the sarcophagus where I placed it, you know, in tombs beautiful and untouchable. And she brought it out, exhumed it for me. And so, it became a living thing again. And I really appreciate that.” – Noah (as told to Roots Music Canada 2023)
Noah’s intricate guitar work matches his expressive voice throughout the album; as each song unfolds, the tenderness and determined vocal placement make the songs on Points Of Light adhere to each other, and you can hear how the solo work and other studio musicians can be separated. He is a mix of Nick Drake, James Taylor, and Gordon Lightfoot with some profound lyrics; as a published poet, he cares about the words he brings to life. “Bed of Nails,” with its unlikely chord progression, is based on a deeply philosophical exploration of the challenge of being human. “Its focus is those points of light that can be so restorative: ‘falling stars and fireflies’ that reassure the man on his bed of nails that “it’s all right,” explains Noah.
But Noah does have fun on “Lester Brown,” a swinging blues number, and channels a little Hank Williams, Sr. on “Done Gone Gone.” On “So Much Work to Be Done,” – a song written at his off-grid cabin in Canada, he gives a nod to noted Texan songwriter Guy Clark.
As Noah and his producer Danny worked in the studio, the songwriter found that his song, “Been A Long Day,” discarded 15 years ago during another album session, sounded fresh and new with a vintage 1958 J-45 Gibson acoustic guitar. In Noah’s notes, “the song emerged with greater depth than ever before. Its orchestral quality is brought further to the fore in this version with strings, arranged and played by Drew Jurecka,” clocking in as the longest song on Points of Light, at eight minutes.
“Zacharin is a guitar aficionado with a unique and expressive voice. Both his voice and fretwork modulate from a growl to a whisper, conveying musical, sonic poetry as they fuse.” – Minor 7th – USA
Noah is a natural talent, starting to play guitar at nine, writing songs as a young teen, and then honing his guitar work as a soloist and in bands and other musical acts in the Montreal and Toronto area over the years. He has opened shows for Odetta, David Lindley, Dave Van Ronk, Jesse Winchester, Alex de Grassi, and Fairport Convention. He has performed internationally in hundreds of venues, from clubs to concert halls. As a producer and instrumentalist, he has performed with some of Canada’s finest and appears on 65 recordings by artists from across North America. Noah’s songs have been recorded by popular performer and radio host Laura Fernandez, Rolling Stone Magazine (India) Cover Artist Rehan Dalal, double-slide master the late Brian Cober, and songwriter-Celtic harpist extraordinaire Sohayla Smith.
At one point in his artistic journey, Noah was very prolific and adopted a philosophy of “write ‘em, play ‘em, archive ‘em, and move on,” building his catalog along the way. The joy of creating songs outstripped his need to have them heard. With Points of Light, he returns to the imperative that the songs COMMUNICATE– that other folks listen to them. He has focused on his extensive catalog and delivers some of his best writing.
Noah will be on the road supporting Points Of Light throughout the fall, with full-on press and radio support.