Ventura Skies is an unexpected return from a songwriter who just a few years ago thought he might never make another album again. But a romantic breakup and the death of his father to cancer coaxed music out of Noah Lamberth as he dealt with the loss & hurt. “The best way to deal with the pain is to verbalize it. But for me that comes out in song. It’s kind of like therapy. The songs started pouring out of me.”
The music was a natural extension from his California Country-styled band, Hank Floyd. That was the group that Lamberth had founded in the early-2000s. Though the act opened up for such artists like Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, and Tim McGraw, they missed the commercial brass ring. (One major label in Nashville said they were too ahead of their time and wouldn’t know how to market them.)
Hank Floyd was a proving ground and a working lab to write songs and sing on the road. But when it ended, Lamberth thought that might be it for music. Working on several documentaries and traveling the country shooting TV shows, Lamberth seemed content to pursue a new calling via a new medium. But as he wrote songs on the road or from his home in Los Angeles, he began to share them with his music friends. One particular colleague, musician and producer Andy Davis, was excited about the new inspiration and convinced Lamberth to record an album. The sound had evolved some and Noah and Andy jokingly called the style a fusion of Mexican/surf/country. But these new songs were no joke, and they captured the yearning desire of an artist inspired with a second chance.
As the album expanded, Lamberth began to wonder what he should call this new effort. Landing on the name of Sir Canyon, Lamberth was soon joined on the album by several friends, some of who used to play with him when they were in an early rendition Katy Perry’s band. Together they shaped the idea of Sir Canyon, a name created simply because it “sounded cool.”
The mental image conjured by the debut album, Ventura Skies, transports us to the spacious landscapes of Southern California. There’s no question the songs included on this cinematic album were inspired by the unique location where the album was recorded. It was also inspired by other artist who recorded in and around Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s such as Glen Campbell, The Beach Boys, Gram Parsons, The Eagles, and even Buck Owens.
Ultimately, it was Lamberth’s own high standards for songwriting, production and the art of making records that helped finish the independent vision of Ventura Skies. “I didn’t have to worry about what anyone at a label was going to say about the recording,” Noah says. “I wanted to make something that I would want to listen to and was proud to put my name on. I know we made a really good record and that’s the most important thing.”
Glide is proud to premiere “Think You’re Amazing” off of Ventura Skies, combining familiar Laurel Canyon harmonies along with desert narratives that are both aural and visual. Like Calexico, Sir Canyon creates exquisite naturalistic songs that never hover into the tedious, making for a lucid musical discovery.
“Sometimes in life there are those people you can’t live with or without,” explains Lamberth. “Think You’re Amazing” embraces that idea. Relationships can be difficult, but loving someone through thick and thin is so important to a healthy relationship. Life is short, and I would hate to look back on my life or anyone else’s and think I was cruel or difficult to be with rather than loving and kind.”