Interview and Photos by Scott Preston
Noah Sugarman hails from the great state of Kentucky where he studied jazz and classical guitar, as well as bluegrass, which is instilled in musicians from that region at a very young age. After 13 years of writing and performing 25 year old Noah Sugarman has created a genre transcending style all to it’s own. With melody heavy lyrics from a big rhythm and blues voice touching on deep subject matter, rhythmic finger picking and beats that keep you guessing. Noah Sugarman’s recordings and live shows are truly a sight to hear and see. (from noahsugarman.com)
Cincy Groove: I see you are playing the Madison Theater in Covington, KY this Friday.
Noah Sugarman: Yeah we are excited about it. Its the last show of the tour. We have been out on the road for 2 months now, but its been great. But its nice to play the last show of the tour to a home crowd.
Cincy Groove: Who is in your touring band?
Noah Sugarman: All guys from Cincinnati, pretty much my old group The Rudies. Pete plays keyboard, Zach Russell my drummer (who is actually from Indiana), Ian Herzog was the bass player, but now has a 2 year old son and decided to focus on his family. So we got another guy we went to high school with David Lloyd to play bass. I have known all these guys for years, so it makes it easier to go out and travel. They are like my brothers.
Cincy Groove: I know about your studio cd you released last year “Art of Starting a Fire”, I also see you released a 2nd cd “Web b-sides”, whats on that one?
Noah Sugarman: Its just basically some demos we recorded. We also did a Thin Lizzy song on there.
Cincy Groove: Are you going to record another studio cd in the future?
Noah Sugarman: Yes, but not quite yet, we are still going to tour this one for a while. I’m writing new songs, but honestly I don’t see it coming out in the next year and a half. If we had a bigger fan base I would push to get it out sooner. But we are still going to places we haven’t been before. Its more important to me to tour and get my name out, than to rush right back into the studio.
Cincy Groove: Have you thought about putting out a live record?
Noah Sugarman: We have thought about it. We were in Boulder, Co over the 4th of July weekend and recorded our show. So if it turns out ok, we are going to release it. We played a 2 hour + set, so we will have to edit it down.
Cincy Groove: How did you get your record deal out in California?
Noah Sugarman: Well most of the demo songs on web b-sides are the ones that I sent out to the record company. They liked what they heard and asked me to come out and record 2 songs and see how it goes. In the time it took to record those 2 songs they ended up offering me a contract.
Cincy Groove: What do you miss most not being around the Cincinnati area for most of the year?
Noah Sugarman: Friends, family and musician friends. We had a chance to take a week off in the middle of the tour. In that week I ended up recording songs with 3 of my friends bands. I don’t get much of a chance to do that. I just love jamming with anyone, anywhere, at anytime.
We also played a last second show with The Animal Crackers recently. It was us with 3 DJ’s on top of it playing together, it was pretty wild. Some of those older bands, like The Animal Crackers and Freekbass have been really supportive. Freekbass was the first band that the first band I was ever in opened for. The Animal Crackers let us use their studio space to practice before this past tour.
Cincy Groove: Who do you have opening for you at The Madison Theater?
Noah Sugarman: They are called Shyte McFlyte. I have never heard them but the drummer and bass player from Tupelo Honey are in this band, its kind of their side project. I’m looking forward to hearing them.
Its also the last show of this tour. We have been on the road for 2 months from North Carolina to Colorado and back to Cincinnati. We have covered over 6,000 miles on this tour.
Cincy Groove: What was your most interesting experience on this current tour?
Noah Sugarman: We were in North Carolina in an area called The Outer Banks. We had done 2 shows with 500 Miles to Memphis while we were there. They ended up going back to Cincinnati after the shows, but their drummer Kevin Hoagle decided to ride along with us for a week. Anyway we played our show and he ended up meeting this girl whose dad owns a waterpark. She is the manager, so at 3 o’ clock in the morning she took us to the waterpark. For about an hour we had the place all to ourselves.
Cincy Groove: How did you start learning guitar?
Noah Sugarman: I learned a lot of Bob Dylan tunes, I had a teacher but my dad played some also. He had a book of Dylan songs, we would sit in the basement and just rock out on that. The reason I even wanted to start playing guitar was when I heard Guns n Roses version of Knockin on Heavens Door. I really wanted to learn how to play that intro in the song.
Noah Sugarman’s last show of his current tour will be this Friday July 11, 2008 at The Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave, in Covington, KY, 41011. Doors at 8pm, Show starts at 9pm, all ages, $6 cover.