These days it’s hard to find a single person who isn’t familiar with Noam Weinstein’s music. But how many people know the story behind the man? If you’re a fast reader, there will soon be one more. If not, there will eventually be one more.
Noam was born in the Spring of 1977 to Boston’s Diane & Larry Weinstein. Upon seeing their son’s face for the first time, they named him Noam, Hebrew for “acceptable.” Since then, Noam has been called everything from “a thrilling songwriter” (The Nashville Rage) to “a young Elvis Costello mixed with Randy Newman” (PasteMusic) to “utterly unique” (Performing Songwriter). The editors at Time Out New York heard echoes of Harry Nilsson, while Rolling Stone Germany heard John Lennon; other folks mention Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, The Band, Ben Folds, or Jakob Dylan. But one thing is clear: every word that has ever been written, spoken, or thought about Noam has been complimentary.
The 44-year-old artist (whose correctly pronounced name rhymes with “Snowbomb Einstein”) grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and began playing guitar and trumpet in elementary school and performing at venues such as Passim and Johnny D’s as a teenager. After college he headed for New York City, where he frequented clubs like The Living Room and The Bitter End, both as a singer-songwriter and as a guitarist accompanying other songwriters. (Sadly, Noam sold his trumpet in 1999, a year when the trumpet industry had more than sufficient inventory.) In 2001 Noam released his debut EP, Enough About You, and in 2002 he followed it up with Above the Music, produced by Jimi Zhivago. In 2004 he completed his first full-length album, Probably Human, with Tyler Wood. Late 2006 brought We’re All Going There, with Lee Alexander; 2008, a series of two-song singles, Planet; 2010, Noam’s first live album, Found Alive; and 2012, a studio collaboration with Mike Viola, Clocked. Noam’s self-produced Bottlefed and On Waves came in 2014 & 2016. On February 26th, 2020, Noam released his latest project, 42 1/2, inspired by that magical time when both the wild innocence of a 42-year-old and the sober wisdom of a 43-year-old are just out of reach. Recorded and mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Ryan Freeland, it features an army of old and new collaborators on fourteen tracks recorded at Los Angeles’s legendary United Recording Studios.
Noam’s albums have received airplay on stations like WERS, WXPN, WFUV, and XM/Sirius Radio, and his song I Can Hurt People aired on the Showtime network during its program Weeds. The lead track from On Waves was awarded “best song” in the Hollywood Songwriting Contest; two earlier tracks, Planet and Yesterday’s Weather, were finalists in the USA Songwriting Contest. Live appearances have included South by Southwest in Austin, CMJ and The Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York, and various clubs across the nation as well as in Ireland (a small country in Western Europe) and England. He has also embarked on several tours of Germany in support of his Skycap Records release Sixteen Skies.