Noah Zacharin has finally released his own rendition of ‘Red Red Bird’
Here at Roots Music Canada, we’re huge fans of accomplished singer-songwriter and master guitarist Noah Zacharin, and we’re pretty stoked that he’s just released “Red Red Bird” has the new single from his ninth solo album, Points of Light (to be officially released September 8th). It’s one of our favourite songs by him.
Written in the late 2000s, “Red Red Bird” has become one of Noah’s best loved songs. At the time he wrote it, however, the highly prolific Noah’s philosophy was “write ‘em, play ‘em, archive ‘em, and move on,” so the song was not often performed. Fortunately, Latin jazz artist and radio personality Laura Fernandez was present at one of those rare occasions, and she took note. When she began work on a new recording in 2010, she asked if she might translate the song into Spanish and record it. Noah readily assented, but confessed he had little recollection how the song went or what the lyrics were. Happily, with a little research, the song was revived.
Recalled Noah, “Like the hopeful blooms of springtime, Laura breathed new life into the song. The record, Un Solo Beso, was released in 2011, produced by Canadian legend Billy Bryans — the last record he worked on before his untimely passing. Calling on many of the top Toronto-based, Cuban-born musicians, the version is majestically energetic.” In 2015, Rehan Dalal released it on This Too Shall Pass, and his version — spare and hymn-like — was selected as Song of the Week on CBC’s Here and Now.
Now, for the first time, Noah is releasing his own version.
“Red Red Bird” finds the singer’s heart soaring above dust and dirt, transcending even the inevitable bonds of human mortality. With a distinctly South-of-the-border vibe, Noah’s deft, subtle guitarwork rests on a feather cushion of quiet B3 organ (Denis Keldie), pedal steel (Burke Carroll), smooth upright bass (Russ Boswell), haunting mandocello (Kevin Breit), and gently brushed snare drum (Gary Craig).
The song is a deeply hopeful and tender anthem that will fly into every listener’s heart. It has been reported that at the moment Laura Fernandez began singing the song to close an outdoor concert several years ago, a cardinal flew boldly past the stage. It is also known that cardinals were a favourite of Noah’s late mother.