Music Spotlight: Noah Guthrie

Even though Noah Guthrie played Roderick on Season 6 of Glee in 2015, making music has always been his aspiration. As a young child, the South Carolina native grew up going to recording studios with his dad and step-mom who were both background singers.

“I caught the bug kind of early and no one forced me to do music. When I got to thirteen, I knew I wanted to do [music] as my job or at least as a passion.”

He started writing songs and teaching himself guitar as a young teen. He fell in love with being able to tell a story and convey that in an emotional way that would speak to others.

“Writing music has always been my main source of joy,” he confesses.

He recalls, “My mom and my step-dad had great musical taste, and my dad and my step-mom had great musical taste. I was always around it.”

His older brother, Ian, was so hardcore into music and now is his drummer, producer, and recording engineer. They have both been “in the trenches” for a long time.

Growing up, they listened to a ton of classic rock along with old-school singer/songwriter stuff like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

He grew up around some of the members of the Marshall Tucker band where he heard their stories and learned from them. His first bass guitar was a gift from one of their members.

In 2012, Guthrie started doing acoustic Youtube videos covering his favorite songs and artists. In my opinion, the singer is one of the few artists who can successfully change up a song, cover it in a completely new way, and still do justice to the tune. I was blown away by his unexpected, remarkable cover of Adele’s “Skyfall.”

“I didn’t start with the intent of making these songs super different from the original. It just kind of naturally happened. I’ve been blessed with a soulful voice and putting that on some of these tracks would take the song in a different direction,” he concurs.

As a teen, he was still trying to figure out what he liked and didn’t like and how he wanted to do his own music. Before TikTok, Youtube was the vehicle new musicians used to get their name out there.

“It helped me a lot,” he confirms and he took some popular songs and turned them on their head.

You must hang out on Guthrie’s YouTube page to fully appreciate the depth of his artistry, but the track which garnered the most attention is his cover of “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO. To date, this cover song has had over 27 million views. He has many other songs as well with million-plus views.

He admits to being an old soul when it comes to listening and creating music. He cites Ray LaMontagne as his biggest influence.

“His ability to put everything he as into each phrase, every bit of emotion in his voice, where it seems like it is coming from his soul. I really respected that and tried to absorb some of that. In reality, I’m just an emotional person,” he declares.

In 2013 at the age of 19, the singer/songwriter released his first self-penned album Among the Wild Things where is released the single, “Call Me Home.” This song proved he was not only capable of making amazing covers but was also able to create original, meaningful songs that spoke to a wide fan base.

Glee Alum Noah Guthrie Auditions for America's Got Talent | PEOPLE.com

Being an actor was never on Guthrie’s radar. He was doing small shows and house concerts as many young artists often do. He did an acoustic set at a house with a small group. Unbeknownst to him, one of the people in attendance judged a talent competition. One of the other judges was the casting director for Glee. They were friends and the casting director mentioned that they were having trouble finding a “shy, chubby, kid with a soulful voice” for a role in the show.

The friend informed, “I think I just saw that person last week. Do you want his number?”

Guthrie got the role of Roderick.

He states, “I often think about how doing a small house show of 10-15 people got me the role on Glee. I don’t know that I would have landed it otherwise.”

In 2017, the independent artist released critically acclaimed The Valley with songs like its title track and “Pardon Me.”

A few years after his role on Glee had concluded, the soul-rocker tried out for America’s Got Talent in 2018 where he wowed the audience and judges with his cover of Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.”

Guthrie made it to the semi-finals and although he did not win the completion, he certain widened his fan base with his rendition of the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post,” and Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” He also performed his original song, “Show Me Some Mercy.”

One of the highlights of the artists’ career was when he got to open for Willie Nelson in 2019.

He recalls, “It was a dream come true. I have always been a huge Willie Nelson fan. I got to open for him for three shows and it was incredible. I will remember that for the rest of my life.”

During the last show, Guthrie got to sing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with the iconic singer.  

On January 14, Guthrie released his 3rd studio album, Blue Wall which presents a more grownup version of the rocker. Blue Wall is another name for the Blue Ridge Mountains and the album makes him feel connected to his home in upstate South Carolina.

Distributed by OneRPM, Blue Wall finds Noah lyrically turning his musings on family into vulnerable songs that resonate with fans and critics alike. All 12 tracks featured on Blue Wall were written or co-written by Guthrie and collectively encapsulate his intentions behind the record. In advance of the album release, Noah dropped two singles, “Only Light I Need” and “Wishing I Was Wrong.” His lead single, “Only Light I Need,” centered itself around the idea of reflecting on the important things in life. On the lead track, “Hell or Highwater,” the crooner’s ageless vocals are reminiscent of 80s rock legends Steve Perry and Axl Rose.

Guthrie continues writing his own brand of Americana/Soulful-rock music and he and
his band, Good Trouble, were featured performers on Rock Boat XVIII with Sister Hazel, Barenaked Ladies, Needtobreathe, Drew Holcomb, and others. They have toured Europe 5 times and recently performed in the Middle Eastern nation of Oman.

As a singer/songwriter, Guthrie’s goal is to make music that is timeless. He takes his cues from other artists who create those types of songs. He aspires to be more than just a “flash in the pan.” He wants his music to be that kind that you return to time and again because it never gets old. With his evocative lyrics and classic soulful vibe, the music of Noah Guthrie is will certainly stand the test of time.

You can follow Noah Guthrie on his website for tour dates, and also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and all streaming platforms.

Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blog, Bethany WritesInstagram, and Twitter.

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