Country rock prodigy Noah Riley Teal talks new album & what’s to come

Country rock prodigy Noah Riley Teal talks new album & what’s to come
Photo cred: Emily Butler

It’s been a great summer for music and I thought I had seen it all! Nope. I then met Noah Riley Teal, the youngest musician I have ever interviewed, but man, he has got that old soul and old-school vibes at only 18!  

This young man just dropped one hell of an album — full of ups and outs you just cannot get enough of.

Straight out of Jackson Lake, Georgia, Noah has been in the music scene since he was a child which led to his latest self-titled album, full of soulful country rocking rhythms and vibes of a well-seasoned artist. Let’s take a deeper look into this young man’s world… 

Tell us a little about yourself!

  • NRT: I’m 18 and an upcoming singer, writer, and guitar player here in Georgia. Playing a mesh of Americana, southern rock, and some country. My band includes singer-songwriter Nicky Harris, and she plays guitar with us. Our bassist Miguel DeJesus, and longtime keyboardist Tommy Forgay and my father is the drummer, Gary Teal.

I love it! I listened to your music you’re so young and already killing it! When did you first start playing ?

  • I started before I was 5-years-old; I don’t even remember music not being in my life. When my dad would be playing the drums, I would be up there playing air guitar! With my dad and his dad being drummers, it was just meant to be, I guess. He got me a drum kit… and that lasted for about a week! [Laughs] I traded it in for a Les Paul and never looked back! 

So really, it’s genetics! Can you tell us about your new self-titled album.

  • Ironically, as screwed up as it is, I have to thank COVID for it! I would have never met  Coy Bowles at Banker Custom Guitars, built out of the North Georgia Mountains; there’s one guy that runs it named Matt Hughes. During COVID, Matt said that I really needed to meet Coy. We met and Coy challenged me to write five songs! Now, keep in mind I had never written any song, ever!
  • So this GRAMMY-Awarded writer who helped write “Chicken Fried”, “Colder Weather”, “Knee Deep “, and songs that I grew up listening to, like no big deal, said, ‘Hey, go write five songs.’ Meanwhile, I’m like a deer in headlights. We ended up doing some Zoom sessions and taught me about recording software. He got on the phone with my mom and dad, and said they need to do more and continue this to make a record. A day in the classroom has literally started my career a lot earlier than I ever imagined!
  • I’m not one to get star-struck — I have just never been like that. People would ask what I think about meeting the Zac Brown guys and I just say ‘part of me knows that they are just guys and gals like us… maybe more normal than other people are!’ The only time I felt that was when the record finally came out. I was on vacay with some friends; at 12 midnight, I got a notification that the record was out. I said I am not gonna get used to that! That was the only time, as I saw my name next to Joe Bonamassa and Zac Brown, and you know just in my own roster of music downloaded in my own collection, that was pretty darn surreal! 

What did your friends and family say?

  • At times, they too are trying to get used to it! I never questioned that I would be onstage performing in one capacity… not trying to sound arrogant. I just always knew.

What’s your fave song to play onstage?

  • My favorite song on the album was written by Wyatt Durett, ‘I’m Coming Around’.  It’s a surprising tune! I wasn’t sure what everyone was going to think about it when I released it… it was different from what I’m used to doing. Kinda like letting my voice do the talking instead of my guitar doing the talking. 

What about “Should Have Seen the Other Guy”. Did you write that one?

  • Myself and my writing partner Nicky Harris (who is also a singer-songwriter and guitarist), we wrote that one together. And she is in my band, as well. That song started from an exploded Chick Fil-A ketchup packet, believe it or not! [Laughs] And a funny remark and we were like, ‘We need to write that down!’ 

How does it feel having a full-length album under your belt? 

  • To have your own music out, hearing the album, it made me go through all the memories of what got me to this [point] — good and bad. Everything I have been through with my life was basically released and now I am ready to really see where I go from here. 

Any crazy stories?

  • My first 30 minutes in Los Angeles, California, I literally bumped into Dave Grohl.

What did you say to him?

  • I walked up and just wanted to get a picture with him and, man, he was the MOST down-to-earth guy, and was excited about meeting me — and didn’t even know who I was! It was crazy to see how cool and kind as he is; Dave Grohl’s level of stardom is its own category! There is ‘famous’… and then there is Dave Grohl!

So, where do you see yourself in five years ? 

  • I’m going to will it into existence, I fully believe in that! I’m going to be standing onstage in five years at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado at sunset, playing my songs and the crowd is going to be singing along so loud that I’m not even going to be able to hear myself singing!

With Noah Riley Teal’s talent, we think it will be less than five years! He is someone to watch out for and we can’t wait to see what happens in the future! Please check out this artist, he is a star!

Stream the Noah Riley Teal’s self-titled album:

Cover and thumbnail photography by Emily Butler

Links: Facebook | Instagram

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