You can feel Southern Ohio in Noah Smith’s music. American Rock and Roll with a country accent fills the room when Smith takes the stage. The singer/songwriter musician has been writing and signing since he was just 12 years old growing up along the banks of the Ohio in Brown County. Now the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music graduate finds himself between home and Nashville as he writes and records his solo debut. Within Smith’s soothing iconic themed ballads is a revival of heartfelt lyrics mixed with the rock and roll grit. Influenced by his love of family, America, and the quintessential 1980’s jam session, Smith reminds you of your first love, last heartbreak and everything in between. At the ripe old age of 27...
We caught up with Smith to talk about how he impressed his wife into marriage, making music and playing Buckle Up Music Festival..
Give us some background on Noah Smith…
I am from Brown County, OH. I didn't grow up in a cotton field but the kids from our home town still get off a week of school because of the county fair. I didn't grow up in a musical family but they did teach me how to go after what I love in this world. It went from tree climbing, bmx riding, baseball playing, women, women, women and then I finally landed where I am today. I'm not going to grind my daily grind doesn't consist of star bucks and a note pad musing over my next song. I am a grunt at hear and artist in spirit taking care of my family in the construction world and inspiring them everyday in the music world. My beautiful wife Kandice finally married her "music man" after a few rough rock n roll years of waring me down. We actually met at the old Blue Note on the West Side when I was in college trying to impress all the girls. Turns out I impressed her the most haha. (She'll kill me for saying that). We are blessed to now have two boys of our own Cash (6) Waylon (2)
Im a songwriter and about once a month I travel to Nashville and bang my head against the industry wall until something breaks through. I graduated from the College Conservatory of Music and at age 20 thought I knew everything there was to know about the music business. The biggest thing I've learned is the power of songwriting in this world. I believe from my weathered approach at playing rock n roll and my plan to hit music city hard my songwriting has grew so much and thats where we are today. I think I'm on the brink of something special and I really believe people feel like they are a part of that journey. I try to talk to the guys wanting to play with me over the years about life as much as music. Because in the end if I cant be in a van with them for days on end there really is not reason to be celebrating the gift of music together either. The men in my band currently have strong backs, great hearts, and I consider them brothers. Through that framework I think we are building something untouchable. Thats the best I can explain who I am on this day anyway.
Tell us about the writing / recording process for the new EP.
About two years ago I started making monthly trips to Nashville and playing where I could down there. The Blue Bird Cafe, The Commodore, Whiskey Bent. I joined NSAI Nashville Songwriters Association International and learned a ton about myself as a songwriter and an artist. Over that time my writing shifted and I really started believing in what I was saying. I can write a song and it doesn't mean anything unless other people make it mean something. Turns out people started listening differently. I tweeted about my new project I was starting to one of my favorite drummers Rich Redmond (Jason Aldean). Through that process Rich and I became Twitter pals and he helped me line up the right mix of players to bring the songs to life and we tracked the EP in Nashville, TN at the House Of Blues Studios. I finished the record here locally with Joseph Dunlap at the Bongo Tree Studio and a few smoke and mirrors later there ya have it.
What can one expect to experience at a Noah Smith show?
Sweat...lol I sweat a lot. But so does Bruce Springsteen and he just sold out US Bank Arena so I think we might be onto something. (laughs)
Our shows are very communal. Rock n Roll, Country, and Soul. We believe in every word and it seems like everyone is starting to believe it too. High energy, Ambitious attack on one hell of a party. I'm very passionate about giving our fans an entire evening that they can wake up in the morning and feel good about. Its not just about us. Its about all of us, together, making something special happen. We also make a lot of noise with chains and for some reason people seem to like that. lol
Congrats on getting selected to play Buckle Up! What is your game plan for the festival? What artists are you hoping to mingle with?
Sincerely thank you. I'm excited to be a part of such a great event coming to town. Im honored to be included on the schedule and be playing with all the National and local artists. I saw Willie Nelson last summer in Nashville but to meet him would be an honor. Jamie Johnson is one of my favorite songwriters, and some Nashville friends of ours The Railers are blowing up right now and I look forward to hanging with those guys. Oh yea...and those guys that do Wagon Wheel ;)
What is next for Noah Smith?
We are really focused on playing impactful shows. This release is the starting point. Its like the last two years are all wrapped up into a ball of energy and this is the starting line. I am really looking forward to The Buckle Up Music Festival. We are doing runs down South more this summer and currently planning a serious tour schedule for fall and winter. The talks of labels and development are out there and we are by all means shooting for the moon with this release but regardless the sleeves are rolled up and we are hitting the ground running. You are going to see a lot of me and the band this year. Shoot I might even let the guys come up with a catchy name. lol