Bill Noonan
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Bill Noonan


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"On Bill Noonan"

“Bill Noonan knows when and how to sing it sweet. He also knows when its time to peel the paint off the walls.”
- Duane Jarvis

"Influence on the Local Music Scene"

“The Charlotte music scene should get down on its knees every morning and thank God for choosing to put Bill Noonan here. His music is devoid of all the extraneous BS that other lesser but better known singer/songwriters use to couch otherwise banal observations; instead, Bill turns common occurrence into poetry. Whether he’s singing about the life of a musician who has to hold down a day job or the frustrations of interminable road construction, Bill’s music grabs you by the throat and the heart, while never losing its sense of humor. Hell, most of us songwriters would be thrilled to write anything half as good as ‘Known on the Underground,’ and if I ever do, I’ll call it a day…one of Charlotte’s genuine outlaws.”
- Jud Block, Cattletruck

"On Stage"

By Virginia M. Sloop

One group that really got my attention recently is The Bill Noonan Band. Made up of experienced musicians from the Double Door/Americana night scene of the 1990s which also brought us David Childers and Michael Reno Harrell, The Bill Noonan Band played two driving sets on a Friday night at the George Washington in downtown Concord. While many in the crowd were clearly there just to see the band, the group passed the real test—they got the bar regulars to get up and dance. Mixing originals like the hilarious “Why Can’t They Finish Highway 49?” with diverse covers of The Rolling Stones, Steve Earle and a dead on nailing of Gram Parsons’“Las Vegas,” they entertain the crowd in true roadhouse fashion while throwing in references to NPR and the Ramones.
- Inside Concord July/August 2006

"Noonan Tune Honored"

Bill Noonan’s “Get Off My Land” received an Honorable Mention in the American Songwriter Lyric Contest. The results can be seen in the November/December 2006 issue. Check out American Songwriter at
- American Songwriter

"“Bright Lights, Big City”"

By Kandia Crazy Horse

“SC’s Bill Noonan Band latest roots rock work is Catawba City, featuring the great, cutting title track lamenting New South growing pains. From a surging bluegrass bed, lyrics like “Catawba City, Catawba City, They’re turning Mayberry into a big ole town without pity” take a rebel stand against those agents of change who would forget where they come from.”
- Creative Loafing, 11/22/06

"Digging Up Their Roots"

By Samir Shukla

You can hear it in Bill Noonan's voice when he sings the words to his song "Get off My Land." Although the words are not autobiographical, Noonan feels the anger of farmers when he sings, "And the tall trees still surround my house / Where it sits off the road / And if I catch you out here just a one more time / I'll speak my mind with a buckshot load." Noonan is singing about a mythical farmer fed up with city developers eyeing his land for suburban development. They prowl around on his land and see shopping centers, where the farmer sees a lifetime of work, green fields and family history.

"Here's where I make my stand," Noonan sings for the countless farmers who have seen their once lush lands turned into asphalt jungles under the might of bulldozers and shortsighted land developers.

Noonan feels the pain of the old farmer. He moved to a rural part of South Carolina, just south of the border from Charlotte, three years ago to return to his own country roots. Although he still works in the city, Noonan feels a sense of returning to the land and to his musical roots at his homestead, away from the rapidly sprawling and biggest city in the Carolinas.

His songs like "Greener Pastures" and "Get off My Land" sing of the land and the efforts to save it from commercial plunder.

"For the past three years, I've been living out of town. I've been living in the country in South Carolina. Driving into the city every day, you get to see how development is changing the countryside," Noonan said.

Living in the country, "gives me the ammunition to write this kind of song," he said.

Musically, Noonan stands at the crossroads where Neil Young meets country music, where a love of Eric Clapton and blues combine to add soul to what he calls "traditional rock 'n' roll."

Noonan's music is Country & Western and Southern rock layered with a heaping of heartfelt lyrical panache. His guitar is never far away while his simple words turn into chiseled, wry commentary on southern life and relationship dilemmas.
- Niner Online, 11/27/06

"Local Spotlight On...Bill Noonan Band"

This just in...Bill Noonan is back.

This breaking news may not mean much to many of you, especially if you haven't experienced the area's recent explosion of local music in the last few years.

For those who are in the know, you may remember the name Bill Noonan from when he was the leader and chief songwriter of the band "The Rank Outsiders". Bill, along with Gigi Dover, and the rest of the band turned heads and wowed crowds for over 10 years playing roots-rock to crowds all over the region.

Now Bill is back, fresh with a new band, creating the great country rock he was known for in the 90's. With a brand new album, entitled Catawba City, slated for mid-October release, it seems Bill is set to re-emerge as one of the elite bands in the area's music scene.

Three new tracks from his forthcoming release are now available for download on his MySpace page. These songs and more are available on his website at Listen for yourself and see what you think.

The mayor of Concord, NC, Scott Padgett, recently attended one of Bill's shows and described his sound this way: "It's sorta rock, it's sorta country. Who cares? It's good music. Just enjoy it and have a good time."

Listen to Bill now, so you can have a good time when he comes to a venue near you.

Ben Dungan
Gaston Alive (September 2006)
- Gaston Alive

"Catawba City Reviewed"

By Calvin Powers

"The Bill Noonan band has a big broad, major chord, wide open sound with a full cast of players covering all the bases in country music. Mandolin, "harp," steel and slide guitar, the occasional fiddle and accordion. And they do a great job of creating layers and layers of Americana.

"Noonan's lyrics add to the Americana vibe with a series of songs about the disappearance of the small town way of life. "Catawba City" has a nice fiddle hook to it while he takes a stand to try to not change when his home town is changing all round him. "Get Off of My Land" is about Just Saying No to developers. But the best of these Americana small town odes is "Big Enough To Hide In" [with] insightful lyrics about the relationship between small towns and conscience on a two-step rhythm. Fun.

"But the best tunes from the Bill Noonan Band come when they strip off some of the layers of country Americana and ease into more of a roots rock/country rock vibe. "The Moon Is Full" is a soulful, mid-tempo rock ballad that sounds like a Neil Young/Drive-by Truckers crossover. "She Was Mine" is a full speed ahead roots rock number. But the best song on the CD is a good-natured roots rock number called "Melanie Melanie." The Bill Noonan Band shows us all that is good about small town Americana, and his music makes you want to be one of the good ol' boys."
- Taproot Radio, 12/21/06

"On Catawba City"

By Courtney Devores

Strong, personal songwriting. At different times, Noonan & Co. come across as a gentler Drive-By Truckers; a classic country-rock radio staple; and—because of Noonan’s phrasing and Bill Walpole's rootsy pedal steel—a Carolina version of Son Volt.
- Charlotte Observer, 1/12/07

"Veteran Shows His Stuff"

By John Schacht

Roots rocker Bill Noonan and his band have a solid slab of new twang out called Catawba City, Noonan’s first since the demise of legendary locals the Rank Outsiders in 2001. Part Dwight Yoakum honky tonk, Townes Van Zandt narrative and countrified power pop ala Graham Parker, this 12-song set spans a good portion of the roots rock canon—something Noonan pulled off with regularity during his decade-long stint at the helm of the Outsiders. In fact, Noonan has become such a veteran of the Charlotte scene that other veterans of the Charlotte scene now name albums after his songs; case in point, David Childers & the Modern Don Juans’ new one, Burning in Hell. Clearly, Noonan hasn’t skipped a beat in the interim.
- Creative Loafing, 1/10/07


Bill Noonan Discography:
The Man That I Can't Be - Bill Noonan (2009)
Catawba City — Bill Noonan Band (2006)
Unpicked Flowers — Gigi Dover (2002)
Gigi Dover — Gigi Dover (2000)
Time Machine — David Childers (1998)
Known On The Underground - Rank Records Compilation (1998)
Checkpoint — Rank Outsiders (1997)
One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure — Rank Outsiders (1995)
First Things First — Rank Outsiders (1994)



Bill Noonan is best known in indie music circles as leader and chief songwriter of the Rank Outsiders, Charlotte NC-based roots-rock pioneers who were a popular fixture on the Southeastern music scene for more than a decade from 1990 until 2002. Now with the release of his second post-Ranks CD, The Man That I Can’t Be, Noonan fully asserts himself as a front man, realizing the full range of his vision as a songwriter, vocalist, and musician.

While Noonan has been influential in helping a number of other regional artists tell their stories—including Carolina rock poet David Childers, bluegrass balladeer Michael Reno Harrell, and ex-wife and Rank vocalist Gigi Dover—only recently has he begun to steer his own course as a solo artist and performer.

Noonan led the Rank Outsiders to Nashville in 1994, where they began recording under the guidance of producer Chris Keaton, mingling with Music City’s more adventurous writers and performers at gigs like Billy Block’s Western Beat Barn Dance. The buzz words “Americana” and “alt-Country” were just beginning to be used to describe the rootsy sound that fell somewhere between the borders of country and rock and roll, a style that Noonan—inspired by artists such as the Rolling Stones, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, and Rodney Crowell—had pursued with diligence since his earliest days as a performer.

The Ranks’ second CD, Checkpoint, was recorded at Garry Tallent’s Moondog Studio in 1997 and combined these influences on a selection of listener-friendly originals, receiving strong national airplay on the emerging Americana radio format, and leading to high-profile appearances on shows such as “World Café” and legendary New York DJ Vin Scelsa’s “Idiot’s Delight.”

Following the success of Checkpoint, and inspired by the camaraderie he had seen and experienced on the Nashville music underground, Noonan focused his energies on bringing together like-minded artists in the Charlotte music community to increase the visibility of homegrown original music.

The result of Noonan’s grassroots initiative was the Americana Music Showcase, a weekly series which ran for five years at Charlotte’s venerable Double Door Inn. The showcase paired local talent with touring Americana acts, including Rank Outsiders’ Nashville friends such as Duane Jarvis, Greg Trooper, and Tim Carroll.

At the same time, Noonan created Rank Records, a co-op label that leveraged the Rank Outsiders’ promotional resources to advance projects by local collaborators, including now well-known regional artists Childers and Harrell.

During this period Noonan also played a key role in developing the solo career of Gigi Dover, organizing, co-writing, and performing on her first two solo projects: an EP recorded in 2000 with Grammy-winning producer John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter), and 2002’s Unpicked Flowers, recorded in Nashville at Moondog, produced by Tim Coats and featuring Garry Tallent on bass on cuts including Noonan’s composition “Wasn’t Meant To Be,” a tune he revamped for inclusion on The Man That I Can’t Be.

Noonan’s music career and personal life both took an unforeseen turn when his marriage and musical partnership with Dover ended in 2003. Knowing that it would take some time for the dust to settle, Noonan left Charlotte and moved to the deep country of Cherokee County, South Carolina. For the next two years he continued writing, performed occasionally around the region, and spent much of his time pursuing outdoor interests in Upstate South Carolina.

In 2005, he returned to the studio, and his 2006 release, Catawba City, defined an original Carolina roots-rock sound that richly reflected the colors of his home region, while revealing greater personal depth on themes of life, love, and loss, set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing rural South.

Catawba City received notable airplay on Americana stations and specialty shows in the US and climbed into the teens on the Euro Americana chart. Songs like “Get Off My Land” and the title cut, “Catawba City,” reaffirmed Noonan’s value as a Southeastern songwriter, and over the next two years he returned to the stage, playing frequent live dates around the Carolinas.

In 2008, Noonan began a long-planned collaboration with producer Mark Lynch (David Childers, Lou Ford), recording on the outskirts of Charlotte with engineer Chris Garges at Old House Studio. The result of these sessions, The Man That I Can’t Be, is now slated for release on July 21, 2009.

Lynch’s treatment on this collection of genre-hopping originals and eclectic covers remains true to Noonan’s roots music reverence while gaining a firm foothold on the edgy musical terrain of the 21st century. Though not a complete departure from his country-influenced sound of previous years—the cover of Gene Clark’s “Tried So Hard” is a highlight of the collection—The Man That I Can’t Be demonstrates Noonan’s genuine affinity with a full range of essential American m