Noah Zacharin

Noah Zacharin

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN

literate lyrics driven by masterful guitar--blues, folk, jazz, country, bluegrass, and funk.


Noah Zacharin was born in Montreal and resides in Toronto. He was given his first guitar at age 9, wrote his first song at 13, began performing at 14, and is happy to say he still loves playing music.
He has been called "a stunning stylistic boundaries" (Holger Peterson, CBC, CKUA), "a wonderful songwriter and performer" (Paul Mills, Borealis Records), a "wonderful, adventurous guitarist" (Blues Bytes), "a poet, a songwriter, a singer we have been waiting for" (Penny Lang), "a great guitarist/singer/songwriter...a wonderfully musical player" (Randy Finney, Founder TFGA), "in a league of his own" (Brian Gladstone, Founder and AD Winterfolk Festival), "one of the best songwriters this country has produced" (the late great Rick Fielding, recording artist, radio host), and "deserving to be mentioned in the same breath with names such as James Taylor and David Wilcox" (Minor 7th).
Zacharin's recordings have garnered praise from fans and critics alike. silence spoken here (1997) was called "an understated classic...musical versatility and lyrical depth" (Xpress-Ottawa); Scene Roots and Blues dubbed aLIVE! (2000) "a real gem"; and a review of crow dark wind (2001) in Minor 7th elicited the following: "like Bruce Cockburn, Ry Cooder, and Bonnie Raitt, Noah Zacharin possesses a virtuoso command of the songwriting."
Noah Zacharin's most recent solo CD, "Waiting on Your Love", continues his tradition of literate well-crafted songs, while marking a significant departure in production. Heavy on horns and Hammond, Zacharin enlisted the best of Toronto's pop and jazz players, as well as long-time Tom Waits alum Ralph Carney, to create a recording of richness and variety. Where previous CD's have essentially been solo recordings (while often utilizing Zacharin's own overdubbed guitars, bass, voice, etc.), on "Waiting", instruments from tin whistle to tuba add just the right touch as Zacharin makes his trademark leap between blues and jazz, folk and country, bluegrass and pop. In a feature article, The Globe and Mail reported that the disc "wrests an improbable sense of order from a chaos of genres...built around his usual and unusual acoustic guitar style and literate lyrics." Since release it has received national airplay on the CBC and its French partner Radio-Canada, and early reviews have said: "Highly recommended" (Kerry Doole, Tandem Online); "One of the best singer/songwriter CD's I have ever heard" (Randy Finney, TFGA newsletter); "The heart of a poet, the mind of a lyricist, the skill of a composer, the fingers of a musician..." (Minor 7th).
In 2012 Zacharin released "Somethin' Like This" with long-time friend and musical partner Jeff Barnes. Comprised of covers--alongside one reprise of a tune off his eponymous debut recording, a.k.a. "The Green Album"-- "Somethin'" is a re-creation of a typical Barnes & Zacharin gig where show-tunes are shoved up against blues, with a segue into country territory before swerving into the path of pop. Currently Noah Zacharin is working with producer/songwriter Douglas September and his long-time bass player Chris Gartner on a new record of recently unearthed material that Zacharin had forgotten about or abandoned. Release is expected before the end of 2013. Work has also begun on a DVD of a sold-out performance that took place in Feb 2013 at Montreal's renowned Upstairs Jazz Bar.
Much sought after as a guitarist, he has recorded and performed with some of Canada's finest writers, including Penny Lang, Bruce Murdoch (with whom he has also co-written), Lucien Francoeur, Rick Fielding, Laura Fernandez, Tony Quarrington, Lynn Harrison, Lori Cullen, etc. As a soloist he has opened shows for the likes of Odetta, David Lindley, Dave Van Ronk, Jesse Winchester, Alex de Grassi, and Fairport Convention. As a producer and instrumentalist he has appeared on some 40 recordings in Canada and the US, and as a writer his work has been translated and released in Spanish.
In 2008 he was an official showcase artist at BC Contact, as well as a nominee for best singer at the Ontario Independent Music Awards. He has thrice been runner-up in the OCFF Songs From the Heart Contest, and has consistently short-listed in the competition.
Zacharin has also been a popular radio and open stage host. Through a four year tenure (until the venue closed) his Liberty Wednesdays was acknowledged by many as "the best" of its kind--eclectic, energetic, and embracing, with Noah (and a constantly evolving band) providing a stage and accompaniment to a vast array of musicians of all ages. He is also a prize-winning poet (with "a remarkable ability to articulate efficient, powerfully condensed ideas": What 18/19) and translator. While at McGill he was a winner of the Chester-Macnuaghten poetry prize, and the Matrix Magazine translation prize. He has published hundreds of poems, translations, and reviews in periodicals and anthologies worldwide, and is currently at work on a numb


Waiting on Your Love

Written By: Noah Zacharin

waiting on your love

I wake at the crack and the creak and the least of sounds
hammer my heart shut and hope the dark will take us down
it’s not that I’m alone I am not alone
only sometimes I think I was made to wear that crown

cause I’m a broken nail and a tale of treachery
a stroke of lightning and a kite caught in a tree
a fine knife edge a madman on the ledge
the lover looking for the lover looking for me

still waiting on
waiting on your love
I’m still waiting on
waiting on your love

I’m a calder junkyard sculpture draped in skin
totalled sum of all the people I have been
and if I forget a night a name the noises she made when she came
I’ll remember in the right light right wind

won’t you lead me won’t you lead me to your door
see I’ve been there so many times before
with a loosened belt a shining emerald ring
raven round my neck with a radiant wing

still waiting on…

those birds that you sent singing ‘let me in’
they tap on the glass sing ‘let me tell you where I’ve been’
past rooms where the nearly buried howl the newly coupled moan
we’re all just looking for a home on the head of a pin

it’s been so long so very long
been so long so very very very long
now I’m a half an inch of habit from your doorstep
a fool as I paper-cut my heart on song

still waiting on…

Nothing I Can Do

Written By: Noah Zacharin

nothing that I can do

you love your mama and your papa
you love your sister too
you used to love me like the stars above
now there’s nothing that says you still do

and all of the snow and all of the sun
and all the wild places we haven’t been to
still blow and burn shiver and mourn
they tell me there’s nothing I can do

you love piano the old time hymns
I can see it in the grace of your hands
you love big dogs you love big oak trees
and every little gift that each new day sends

and all of the snow…

my love grew up where roses grow
where roses grow tangled in the hedge
my love she go to another heart
and thorns are all that are left

and all of the snow…

words and music (c) Noah Zacharin

In the Heather

Written By: Noah Zacharin

I used to walk in the heather
counting the crows on the line
counting back days when I first met her
and wishing that she were still mine

keep on walking and don’t look back
to where the city’s in flames
believe there’s water just over the hill
and flowers that bloom from her name

roll me over and rock me to sleep
I pray my mind my memories keep
if I should lie about any heartbeat

you sing at the speed of sound
you see at the speed of light
you can step as slow as you’re bound to
you still pass through the night

roll me over…

I used to walk in the heather
combing out my long hair
hoping one day I’d forgive her
now I’m just glad she’s there

Sick at the Heart

Written By: Noah Zacharin

sick at the heart

sick at the heart
and I don’t know what to do about it
ferris wheel got pretty lights
I got rusted quarters in my pocket
and she stands at my right hand
like cotton candy
sick at the heart

I can’t look at the roses
I see them torn from the earth and bleeding
locust in the wheat field knows
from birth we are starved for bread and blessing
when the lights grow dim
we begin to learn our lesson
sick at the heart

nothing adds to one hundred
they should have used ray charles’ piano for his casket
all the drunken masters
smear sienna ochre and umber on canvas
the jug is cracked
the light is jagged and refracted
sick at the heart

sick at the heart
I said it once it was so easy I say it once again now
bang the pipes at midnight
why won’t the gods just let us sleep ah just keep the noise down
I write these words to cross them out
and forget ‘em

Convertible Kind

Written By: Noah Zacharin

Convertible Kind

I’m looking for a girl named diamond in the rough
some little thing who thinks that sugar ain’t enough
takes a spoonful of salt with her bread
calls me on over to polish off her edge
oh where can she be
and when will she come to me

I’m looking for a girl named gimme champagne
she’s satisfied to sate her thirst on a little bit of rain
she don’t need a dozen sips
that girl just needs to wet her lips
oh where can she be
and when will she come to me

I don’t care what walk she walks
I don’t care what talk she talks
as long as she lets me know
when I’m named boyfriend on her block

I’m looking for a girl named angel in the snow
she shivers when she’s bad when she’s shining down below
and that heavenly music begins
when she spreads her heavenly wings
oh where can she be
and when will she come to me

I’m looking for a little girl you know the convertible kind
she puts her top down make it summer anytime
you feel that cool breeze go by
we’re speeding up to cross over state lines
oh where can she be
and when will she come to me

words and music © Noah Zacharin


Noah Zacharin
silence spoken here
crow dark wind
Big Daddy Z
Waiting on Your Love
Somethin' Like This (w/ Jeff Barnes)

all of these have garnered National and International airplay.
Samples available on