It often takes artists time to grow and evolve, but Noah Riley Teal has blossomed much faster than most. The evidence is on his self-titled debut album, set for release on July 7th, featuring the single “I’m Coming Around.” At the age of 17, he displays a musical maturity well beyond his years as a singer, a songwriter, and an impressive guitar player. His songwriting style is diverse, with moments of pumped-up rock n’ roll, more traditional country rock, and some obvious blues-infused guitar playing. Teal first picked up the guitar at five, and he hasn’t looked back since. His father is a musician (and also plays in his son’s band), which inspired Teal to want to do the same.
This self-titled debut will consist of ten tracks that have, in one form or another, been percolating and developing for over a decade now since Teal first picked up that guitar. Offering a big helping hand on this record was Coy Bowles, the dynamic singer, songwriter, and guitarist who is also a core member of the hugely successful Zac Brown Band. Bowles acted as producer for Teal, lending his experience and wisdom and letting young Noah do his own thing. You’ll hear a colossal mix of southern and classic rock, Americana, blues, and country.
Noah Riley Teal is joining us today for our latest Stereo Six wherein he runs down six classic records that really influenced him in the writing and recording of his self-titled debut.
1. Joe Bonamassa – Redemption (2018, J&R Adventures)
“Arguably, Redemption is not only one of, if not my favourite album start to finish, it also (and seeing the Redemption Tour in 2018) had the single biggest impact on me as a musician. It was seeing Joe for the first time on this tour, hearing these songs, that inspired me to be the frontman and go from ‘just a guitar player’ to the star of the show. This record forever changed the course of what I thought I could be in music. And not to mention, it’s such a great album with ‘Evil Mama,’ ‘Self Inflicted Wounds,’ ‘Molly O,’ and ‘Redemption,’ just to name a few.”
2. Rush – Moving Pictures (1981, Anthem Records)
“I seem to have a thing with power trios. For as long as I’ve been alive, my dad’s favourite band has always been Rush. So growing up, I was introduced to the smallest and loudest orchestra very early in life and with as many great records has Rush had, Moving Pictures will always be top for me. Alex Lifeson was one of my earliest inspirations to pick up a guitar and it was ‘Limelight’ and ‘Tom Sawyer’ to blame for that. Also doesn’t hurt that I got to see them on their last tour, R40, as my first real rock concert before they retired. R.I.P. to one of the greatest writers, and in my opinion, the greatest rock drummer to ever live, Neil Peart.”
3. The Wallflowers – Bringing Down the Horse (1996, Interscope Records)
“Although I didn’t have the ‘life changing’ experience with The Wallflowers like I did with other albums on this list, there’s no doubt that I just love this record. It’s one of the few records that I can listen to from start to finish without having to skip a song. Even songs I’m not as big of a fan of on this record, I still really can get behind. When I was younger, my sister and I would occasionally do acoustic shows together, and The Wallflowers was always on the list of songs we’d play, so this record will always remind me of her.”
4. ZZ Top – Tres Hombres (1973, Warner Records)
“I say if I can be ten percent of Billy Gibbons’ level of cool, I would have lived a great life (laughs). And it for me is Tres Hombres, where Billy is his baddest. As a guitar player, I learned so much of what I know now from listening to this album. The biggest being that simplicity is king. Playing a thousand notes a minute is cool, but when you can rule the world with just one, that separates the ‘good players’ from the ‘great players.’ Tres Hombres and ZZ Top as a whole is just a masterclass in being awesome.”
5. Blackberry Smoke – The Whippoorwill (2012, 3 Legged Records)
“Best southern rock album ever. Yep, I said it. The Whippoorwill by Blackberry Smoke from the start to ‘Six Ways to Sunday’ all the way to the very end of ‘Up the Road’ is nothing but A-list songs. This record was another one of those ‘life changers’ that, as an upcoming singer and writer, I just listened to a thousand times to learn as much as I could from. I’m lucky enough to call Charlie, Benji, Paul, Brit, and the guys and gals in BBS friends and mentors, so to have that luxury on top of the music, school can’t teach you what I’ve been able to learn from this record and these people.”
6. Eric Church – Heart & Soul (2021, 2021, 2022, EMI Records)
“Is it cheating to have a three-part album on this list (laughs)? The biggest I got from discovering Eric Church and listening to these records were two things. Firstly, I learned country can be cool, and secondly, I found my ‘sound.” I don’t mean trying to be Eric, I mean, while listening to him I learned that the stuff I was writing that I was really proud of but didn’t think people would like because it wasn’t a certain sound they’d expect from me was cool.
“And also, don’t try to over complicate it. I’d try way too hard to sound a certain way, adhere to a certain style, or stay in one lane. But for whatever reason, Heart & Soul showed me I don’t need to be in one lane; I can do whatever I want to, write, play, and sing whatever I want to. And frankly, people have liked that more than anything I did before that revelation. So I guess the old saying is true ‘Just be you.’”