Noel Smyth CD Release At The Burren
Noel Smyth played at the Burren recently for the release of his latest CD, The Neighborhood’s Jukebox. This latest album is available for sale on iTunes and wherever Noel is playing. I got chance to take some photos of Noel during the show and catch up after. After having done the design work for the CD jacket and face, I was excited to be at the show. Noel looked great up on stage – comfortable, loose and ready to play. And play he did, for around an hour, working through many of the titles on the new CD.
Noel mixed in some old favorites too, like, “That’s Life,” in front of a very appreciative audience. Of course, there were friends and family that came to see him. But the staff at the Burren was cheering for Noel too – he’s one of their own, you see, through his long-standing appearances at Hugh McGowan‘s open mike at the Burren on Tuesdays. And Hugh was tending bar that night. Tom Bianchi, who is everywhere these days, ran the event on Sunday and, along with Danielle Miraglia, lent a lot of aid to the record. Danielle sang backup vocals and Tom played bass, mandolin and helped with the recording and mastering.
After the show, I caught up with Noel to find out how he though it went.
“I’m thrilled there were so many wonderful people in the same room. So many who came have influenced my music in one way or another and it was a privilege to play for them. The drummer of my first band was there who was responsible for showing me my first guitar chords, my brother who used to blare ‘Guns n’ Roses’ above my room countless nights came to cheer, several fellow open mikers who’ve inspired my more recent playing in more ways than one were on hand, and finally my parents who exposed me to ‘The Irish Hour’ every Tuesday night (kick ass Irish folk) in our kitchen.”
During a break in the set, Tom Bianchi came on stage and passed the hat, so to speak. It’s actually a bucket. The money from that went directly to Noel. It’s one way the Burren supports local musicians and it’s a wonderful touch. Tom did more than that, though. He knows Noel well – Noel is no stranger to the Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge either. Tom was actually running “live sound” for part of the show. When Noel was playing songs that had effects on the vocals on the album, Tom went and punched in similar sounds for the live show. Noel couldn’t hear it in the stage monitors, but it made a big difference out in the audience. That’s the kind of guy Tom is. Halfway through the set during a moment when the audience noise had gotten a bit loud, he drifted over and we chatted for a moment. He looked around, “I wish people could just be quiet and listen,” he said. That’s classic Bianchi – always worried about giving the performer the best shot at a good room.