Noah Smith Does Double Duty in Cincinnati

Photos By Robbie Householder

Noah Smith could possibly be the hardest working man in Cincinnati music. Tonight he is playing The Taft Theatre opening for Crystal Bowersox and this Saturday catch him at The Southgate House Revival with 90 Proof Twang and Matt Mason. Smith is also working on his next studio album to be released next year! 

We sat down with our friend Noah Smith to chat about the show, album, and where he is headed.

Tell us about the show coming up on November 19th…
We will be performing at the Southgate House Revival. It’s always good every time we put on a show there but this one feels special to me. If there is one place in town that I feel, as somewhat of an out of town cat, at Home it would be that room. We will be sharing the stage with two other great acts 90 Proof Twang (Cincinnati Entertainment Award Best Live Act Winner) and Matt Mason who I met through a festival we played this summer. Matt Mason currently resides in Nashville but is a native of Indianapolis, IN. 

Rumor has it there is a new album in the works. Talk to us about how that is going…
The album is...good. I always say that we can think it’s the best thing in the world but until a few thousand people have a listen we just really don’t know. For me though...this is the best group of songs, and best group of musicians I have ever worked with. My first studio release was made of songs I wrote alone and really with no foundation as a live band. This record feels like “us”. It has been really important to me on this one to let the band really pour themselves into these songs as well. Kind of a “what if I’m not the only one on stage in love with these songs?” What does that look like?  I have always loved performing and has been a focus of everything I do as an artist but over the past couple years our show became something special. Therefore, I really wanted this record to feel like the band that you see on stage. I wanted the songs to breath in a new way and even the content was inspired and created with the last couple of years touring etc… So again in short. The album is...good. 

I tracked my EP in Nashville at the House of Blues. We are doing this record independently at my guitar players studio J-Mac Studios right here in Cincinnati, Ohio. It feels good to be taking this one by the reigns and building the team and the band all at once. Everyone has their part in the process and it’s been great learning how this band is going to survive for years to come. 

Where is Noah Smith headed musically?
I’ll be honest the studio album we are working on is taking longer than I ever wanted to spend on this record. However, I think it's the best decision we have made to really get focused and make sure it's done right. Hell half of the guys in my band are engineers, and we actually are tracking this record at my guitar player’s studio. Essentially could be milling out songs every few weeks for fans to consume. I really feel like the way we are doing it is best for all of them though. I really believe they will appreciate the time we have given this project.  This record has been the record where chairs have been thrown discussing guitar parts or drum takes. This record has been about a bunch of guys who love every second of what they do in a room and literally are taking the hill in the process. I’ve never wanted to choke out my band members and give them a hug all at the same time so much. I think it's a beautiful thing because it's coming out in the music we are making...together. We have really hit our stride I feel. Musically we are going to be putting out a lot more music. My songwriting is growing and I am writing with more people including the guys who are on stage with me every night. One song off the record, “Out Of State Tags” was written by Trapper Haskins out of Franklin, TN. I met Trapper at a coffee shop a few years back right here in Cincinnati. We shared some stories and information and next thing you know we were performing in his home town as well as cutting his song on our record. That's the type of stories and life that has grown and breathed into this record. There's more guitars, and mandolin. It wasn’t intentional but a lot of people are starting to push us to Texas. I think we will be heading there more this year but it's really about being the best live band we can be no matter where we are. We are pushing ourselves harder than we ever have. I guess we are getting better at what we thought we already knew how to do. I just hope it keeps working because it feels right.

What are you most excited about in the new year to come?
We are planning to be on the road a lot more in 2017. Oh yea and I think there’s going to be a record coming out. In the past two years we have played in 10 states. Once the record drops we all are planning for that number to just keep growing. The Big Ol Family is definitely eager and somehow very patient with us waiting on new music. I think sharing this record with them and everyone else we meet along the way is going to be the most exciting part for all of us in 2017. It's like the big reveal on a home makeover show every night we take the stage.