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Despite the harsh winds and snow that could be seen outside the window, there was something very peaceful about Noah Lubin’s visit to the WERS studio this morning. The Chicago-born and Boston-based guitarist stopped by to play a few songs during WERS’s Chagigah segment. He was polite, professional, and wore a gray newsboy cap throughout his entire set.
Lubin has released two albums, Leaving Egypt and When the Angels Cry and his third album is due spring of this year. While his music straightforwardly revolves around Judaism, it’s themes are universal. In fact, Lubin describes his writing process as relatable to even those who do not write music. “Sometimes you wonder where [songwriting] comes from and how you find it. It’s a lot of life. Sometimes you’ll meet a best friend then you won’t meet someone like that for years, or you’ll fall in love and it won’t happen again for years. Songwriting is sort of like that.”
Along with making music, Lubin is also an accomplished painter. His appreciation for creating a variety of art comes across when he discusses the importance of being an observer. “I write best when I’m travelling. Something about moving through the world, you don’t feel stationed. For me that awakens a lot of reflective thinking… New ideas, new people, new places, new things to think about.”
Lubin first performed was “My Maker,” a bluesy song that seemed in essence to be a love song praising God. His voice is easy to listen to; smooth, rich, and earnest. In addition, he is also a skilled guitarist. The combination of the two, along with the backdrop of snow outside the window, was truly beautiful.
Next he performed “End of Days,” another soulful piece. Unlike the cries of ‘YOLO’ we hear from so many pop songs today, Lubin took a more serious and honest approach to singing about the end of the world. Once again, though he sang from a Jewish perspective, any listener could find all-encompassing spirituality and meaning within his lyrics. For example, “I want to be more than these bones I was made from… I want to see more than this mirror in front of me” were lines that stood out.
To close his set, Lubin played “Daniel,” a track off When the Angels Cry. Before performing, he explained the song is his rendition of old spirituals about Daniel in the lion’s den. When discussing religion in his life and music, Lubin says, “My father was very into Hinduism and philosophy. I grew up in a Jewish community, went to secular school, and I became more observant later in life. But I can’t ignore the ways I grew up, so I integrate it and try to be a balanced person.” This balance comes across clearly in each of his songs.
Lubin will be taking part in the Boston Jewish Music Festival on March 5th at Club Passim at 7:30. It is his first time playing the Boston Jewish Music Festival and one of his first festivals ever. “I haven’t played many festivals and I’d really love to, I want to play more,” he explains, “I’m honored to play in the festival…. I hope I get to play more festivals afterward. I spend my days doing a lot of painting, but I’d like to find more outlets to do my music as well.”