Noah Zacharin Releases New Album Points of Light


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Doors: 6:30 pm | Music: 7:00-8:45 pm

@The Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, ON

TICKETS: Adv. $10 + HST and fees | Door: $15 Eventbrite

w/ Gary Craig on drums, Russ Boswell on bass, and Burke Carroll on pedal steel and dobro

plus other surprise guests

Consummate singer-songwriter and gifted guitarist Noah Zacharin releases his ninth solo album POINTS OF LIGHT (to be officially released September 8th via Sonic Peach) and will be available on all major platforms. A release concert will take place on Thursday, September 14th at The Dakota Tavern 249 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, ON with musicians Gary Craig on drums, Russ Boswell on bass, and Burke Carroll on pedal steel and dobro. Plus many other surprise guests. Doors: 6:30 pm | Music: 7:00-8:45 pm. Tickets: Adv. $10 + HST and fees | Door: $15  at Eventbrite. For more information please visit any of the artist links below and at Noah Zacharin’s website.

“…Points of Light…is a masterful singer-songwriter effort by any measure, marked by poetry worthy of being described as literature set to gorgeous finger picking and performed in a manner that radiates authenticity.”

~ Heather Kitching (Roots Music Canada)

The perfect song to open Points of Light, “Ten Tons of Road” sets the persistence of a fondly remembered romance to the background of a percolating, intricately finger-picked acoustic guitar. This solo performance articulates Zacharin’s statement of purpose: a romantic paean to love and the road.

To a South-of-the-border rhythm, the driving acoustic guitar in “17 Minute” echoes the predominant image of a train constantly moving on toward the horizon. Simultaneously mournful and celebratory, and buoyed by Burke Carroll’s lilting pedal steel, the song resolutely accepts the fleeting nature of love with something approaching contentment.

A bluesy shuffle with an unlikely chord progression, “Bed of Nails” is a deeply philosophical exploration of the challenge of being human. Its focus are those points of light that can be so restorative. It features revered guitarists Marc Ribot (on ukelele) and Kevin Breit (electric baritone guitar), who work together with Zacharin’s acoustic to keep the message moving forward.

Written in his cabin by the river, “So Much Work to be Done” is Zacharin’s homage to Guy Clark. Meticulously crafted, it pays tribute to one of the master craftsmen – as both songwriter and maker of guitars – of our time. Solo guitar, respectful, elegiac, elegant.

“Red Red Bird” finds the singer’s heart soaring above dust and dirt, transcending even the inevitable bonds of human mortality. With a distinctly Latin vibe, Zacharin’s deft, subtle guitarwork rests on a feather cushion of accompaniment. If ever Zacharin has written an anthemic tune, this is it. A crowd favourite, it’s a song of hope in a time of adversity and confusion.

An all-out electric blues rumble, “What Have I Got to Show For It” showcases ace session harpist Roly Platt delivering mighty notes with delightfully distorted tone. As Zacharin put it, “The futility of it all (as Ecclesiastes once pointed out) is sung with power and joy.”

In the style of blues standard “Diddy Wah Diddy,” “Lester Brown” offers a bouncy, lighthearted portrait of an imagined real New Orleans character – a sharp-dressed ladies’ man who outclasses the sun by lasting from dusk to dawn. The brilliant Kevin Turcotte delivers classy and classic muted trumpet in duo with Zacharin’s acoustic. 

Playful yet earnest, “Tom Morrow” stays hopeful in this cleverly penned tune, as we meet various members of Tom’s family, including his Dad “Todd A” and his mom “Hope.” It’s a solo acoustic gem that concisely captures Zacharin’s deft lyrical skills.

Written with a mind to channeling the great Hank Williams, the country-blues honk of “Done Gone Gone” presents an anti-love song delivered in drunken fashion with the band, featuring the brilliant Floyd Cramer-style piano and accordion shine of Denis Keldie. The second verse lyrics are an especially perfect example of superb, succinct songwriting.

Recorded at Zacharin’s Ark in the forest, “Something Like a River” is an instrumental piece – a short, simple emulation of his beloved stretch of the York River. Played as if a flatpicking tune, the song was transcribed and featured in issue No. 30 of the Fingerstyle Guitar Journal. 

Nearly eight minutes in length, and with a more-than-decade-long gestation period “Been a Long Day” is a profound meditation on love and mortality, the orchestral quality of which is brought to the fore with strings arranged and played by Drew Jurecka. A sad and beautiful song to complete the album.

Noah Zacharin is a widely acclaimed guitar master, multi-genre songwriter, and dynamic performer. He was given his first guitar at age 9, wrote his first song at 13, and began performing at 14. In December 2015, Zacharin became a full-time recording and touring musician, and is more thrilled than ever to be doing what he has, in fact, always done. Born in Montreal, Zacharin is no longer an urban dweller, splitting his time between a home near Madoc and an off-grid cabin on the Canadian Shield. As the road has returned he is spending time there as well.

Previous recordings have all garnered popular and critical praise: Strange Rider (2016) made a number of ‘Best-Of’ lists for 2016; of 2018’s A Startle of Wings—an intimate, solo, 14- song journey through genres, concerns, and rhythms—renowned DJ Michael Stock (WLRN) said: “a beautiful album…rare to hear an album of solo vocal and guitar sound so full.” As a soloist he has opened shows for Odetta, David Lindley, Dave Van Ronk, Jesse Winchester, Alex de Grassi, and Fairport Convention, and performed internationally in 100’s of venues from club to concert hall. As a producer and instrumentalist he has performed with some of Canada’s finest and appears on some 65 recordings by artists from across North America. As a writer, his songs have been recorded by popular performer and radio host Laura Fernandez, Rolling Stone (India) Cover Artist Rehan Dalal, double-slide master, the late Brian Cober, and songwriter-harpist extraordinaire Sohayla Smith. He has officially showcased at FARM (Oct 2016), SERFA (May 2017), and SWRFA (Sept 2022). Noah Zacharin is also an award-winning poet (with “a remarkable ability to articulate efficient, powerfully condensed ideas”: What 18/19) and translator. He has published hundreds of poems, translations, and reviews in periodicals and anthologies worldwide, and is currently at work on several manuscripts of poems. In his spare time Zacharin reads, cycles, walks, and practices tai chi and kung fu. He also practices guitar.


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