The Barefoot Movement
“They perform barefoot, yes, but what you’ll remember is how the music moved you. Lead singer Noah Wall’s voice can blast you backward as well as pull you in, and the rest of the band has the harmonies and instrumental chops to support that ride.” — News & Observer
The Barefoot Movement integrate bluegrass, blues, folk, rock, country and pop into music that’s delightfully fresh. Shows feature original songs and reimagined cover tunes with tight three-part harmonies and hot instrumentals.
Representation and Touring Formats
Representation: North America
Touring Formats: Quartet and Quintet
Holiday Show: The Barefoot Movement – Holiday
“Acclaimed Americana group “The Barefoot Movement” has carved out an indelible space in the acoustic scene since their 2011 debut album, Footwork. Their sound is invigorating, infused with a captivating honesty that transports audiences to a place of complete enthrallment.
The band officially formed in North Carolina in 2006, after front woman Noah Wall met mandolinist Tommy Norris in high school and discovered a convergence of aligned passions. That initial crackle of intensity never waned and instead became the force catalyzing the band through its various iterations. Today, the Barefoot Movement is comprised of Noah Wall—whose powerhouse vocals, songwriting, and fiddle playing serve as the backbone of the band—mandolinist Tommy Norris, and upright bassist Katie Blomarz rounding out their unique blend of charming, modern roots music. The band navigated the pandemic by creating “The Barefoot Movement Variety Show,” a live stream featuring special guests, live and pre recorded material, and assorted other musical shenanigans and collaborations. Their energetic, joyous, and heartfelt live performances have garnered them fans nationwide and beyond, and earned them the 2014 IBMA Momentum Award for Band of the Year.
Their most recent release, 2020’s Rise & Fly, finds them exploring new musical territory while still standing firmly on their barefoot foundation: lush harmonies, thoughtful instrumentation, and memorable melodies. Chuck Plotkin, the producer behind albums such as Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A., and Dylan’s Shot of Love, among many others, emerged from retirement to co-produce the EP with Hank Linderman, whose engineering work has been showcased on the Eagles’ Long Road out of Eden and Linda Ronstadt’s Hummin’ to Myself, to name but a few.
The Barefoot Movement creates gloriously addictive, instantly memorable tunes shored up by silky smooth bluegrass and Americana harmonies and laced with tantalizing flecks of bluesy grit.”
Album Review: The Barefoot Movement ‘Live in L.A.’
After bringing us three impressive studio albums, Nashville-based bluegrass group, The Barefoot Movement, returns with a live album. Set to release May 13th, Live in L.A. is steeped in the sounds of traditional bluegrass and folk music, while being infused with youthful exuberance. It’s the perfect showcase for their musical acumen and love of performing.
The album covers a lot of ground, with eleven songs from their previous works and two new songs in “Pressing Onward” and “Anywhere I Plant My Feet,” both of which take differing sonic and lyrical approaches to landing in a safe place. The former tackles the struggle by focusing on the will and drive to overcome setbacks. The latter speaks of the pull of new places and experiences while knowing the time for settling down will come and be welcome.
|Harriett at Daily Country
Nashville band The Barefoot Movement returns to MerleFest
One of the emerging generation of Americana bands, The Barefoot Movement makes a return visit to MerleFest this year in advance of the release of its fourth music collection on May 13, 2016. The band, winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2014 Band of the Year Momentum Award, is a trio made up of singer-songwriter Noah Wall (fiddle), Tommy Norris (mandolin) and Alex Conerly (guitar). The band will be hanging out in N. Wilkesboro for the entire MerleFest weekend and are scheduled to perform twice on Saturday, April 30, at 9:45 a.m. on the Americana Stage and inside the Walker Center at 2 p.m.
Noah, the band’s frontwoman, will also contribute her powerful vocal and old-time fiddling talents to the popular Hillside Album Hour, hosted by The Waybacks, late Saturday afternoon. She recently took time to talk to AXS.com about MerleFest and what it means to her life and career.
Noah Wall: “The first time I came I was a freshman in high school as a spectator. It was the first time I had seen just how many people love and care about traditional American music. Getting to perform there in 2014 was a really nice moment for me because I had had my sights set on it for so long. Playing Merlefest makes you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself.
Billboard 615 Spotlight: The Barefoot Movement
This week’s featured artist in the 615 Spotlight definitely qualifies as one of the most eclectic acts that we’ve written about in some time. Take a listen to The Barefoot Movement, and you will hear slices of bluegrass, country, folk, and even a little bit of rock and roll. That diverse mix has attracted widespread critical acclaim for their latest album, “Figures of the Year.” That’s something that fiddle player Noah Wall takes a great deal of pride in.
“Nothing could make us happier,” she tells Billboard. “It’s definitely something that we have put a lot of heart into. The best thing that you can hope for is that the music that you want to play is music that people like. I think that when you get confirmation of that from people enjoying it, that’s the best feeling.”
How would Wall classify their melting pot of music? “I think folk-Americana is really accurate, because we draw from so many styles of traditional music,” she says. “It’s hard to call it just bluegrass. We do play a lot of old-time string music, but that’s definitely not all we do. The songs that I write draw from anything from classic rock – what I grew up listening to – or folk, or anything in between. I would say it’s traditional based music that draws from all kinds of traditional music.”
|Chuck Dauphin, Billboard
Barefoot Movement headlines bluegrass fest at PACA
Here’s the deal with Barefoot Movement: You do your part, and they’ll do theirs. They will play their stirring, heartfelt, harmony-rich bluegrass while barefoot, as long as you move, stomp your feet and holler for more.
The Tennessee group always plays without shoes, says singer and fiddle player Noah Wall.
“We get a lot of crap for it if we don’t,” she said, with a laugh. “I’m more comfortable that way. Sometimes, in the winter, it can be a little more difficult to make that work, but we have a nice rug we bring with us. I feel better, just not having to worry.”
No shoes, no problem for Barefoot Movement, which is enjoying a big year. The group released “Figures of the Year,” its fine second album which includes a fun, bluegrass version of Blind Melon’s “No Rain,” in June. They toured with the Milk Carton Kids, and also placed second in the Telluride Music Festival’s prestigious Band Contest (previous winners include the Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek).
|Dave Richards, Erie Times – News
Figures of the Year – Barefoot Movement
Back in June, we reported to you about the Barefoot Movement, a young folk group with roots in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies program. The band has recently released its second album, Figures of the Year, a sixteen-track collection that varies between folk-pop and authentic-sounding old-time.
The majority of the tracks are band originals, or the group’s own arrangements of traditional tunes. Fiddle player Noah Wall carries most of the lead vocals and over half the songwriting credits, filling the album with melodic numbers that contemplate the emotions and experiences of growing older. Wall’s vocals are delicate and powerful at the same time, especially on songs like Chasing Shadows, an original composition which has hints of the Dixie Chicks’ grassier efforts.
|Joan Goad, Bluegrass Today
Granville Roots: Barefoot Movement to perform at ArtsCenter
The members of Barefoot Movement have been touring all summer promoting the release of their second recording “Figures of the Year,” released in June. The tour comes to the ArtsCenter today, but violinist and vocalist Noah Wall is looking forward to having time to write some new songs.
“We’ve been gone this whole summer,” she said in a phone call from her home in Jonesborough, Tenn. “I’m looking forward to the fall when I can go back and revisit all these ideas. … I’m going to be very happy to get in my little room and begin writing again.”
The Barefoot Movement is based in Johnson City, Tenn., and plays in the bluegrass tradition. Wall grew up in Granville County, where beginning in second grade she took violin lessons from Suzanne Moody, who taught using the Suzuki method, but also taught traditional fiddle tunes. She continued playing but began practicing in earnest and writing songs in high school. “That was when I got more interested in fiddle playing,” she said.
|Cliff Bellamy, The Herald Sun
The Barefoot Movement – Figures of the Year
Bluegrass is a genre that often get overlooked because it can be grating. The fiddles, the banjos, the vocals can all be turn offs to the casual music listener. One of the reasons that Nickel Creek was so successful was their ability to make music that could be appealing to the general populace with tight harmonies, great fiddle work and a sense for songs that appeal to everyone and not just a certain population. When we reviewed the debut album by The Barefoot Movement, Footwork, we noted that this was a band with potential to be a band that was embraced by more than just bluegrass fans. I’m happy to say that Figures of the Year sees Noah and her gang accomplish this much sooner than anticipated.
|Casey Karger, Ear To The Ground
The Barefoot Movement: A Graceful and Glistening Bluegrass Experience
Being a Vancouverite, (being a Canadian really) there aren’t many instances where I come into contact with bluegrass music. In fact, I don’t think I had ever seen a bluegrass band before last night. Thanks to The Milk Carton Kids, I can now cross it off my musical bucket list. The group that opened for Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, was a good, old fashioned Southern bluegrass Americana musical quartet – The Barefoot Movement. They are so stereotypically southern it’s awesome.
|Wilde Thing: Tales from an Underground Reviewer
The Milk Carton Kids and unusually popular opener charm Denver audience
The delightful twang of bluegrass and folk rang out from duo The Milk Carton Kids Thursday night at the band’s first headlining show at the legendary Bluebird Theater in Denver.
Kids rhythm guitarist Joey Ryan introduced openers, The Barefoot Movement, for their first show on the tour east of Memphis, Tenn. The quartet was very quiet and polite when addressing the crowd, but their music was powerful.
Although neither the fiddle, acoustic guitar, mandolin nor the stand-up bass were electric, and three of the four members sang at one time, only one mic was used for the entire set.
As unplugged as they were, The Barefoot Movement had perfect balance between instruments and vocals. Because they never had a set positions throughout the show, the band could move to feature fiddle and mandolin solos, then make a quick switch back to featuring vocals.
Even with four people and instruments surrounding the mic, they never needed to come closer than a foot or so. Whether that was due to their ability to balance with each other or the mic’s sensitivity, it was still impressive.
|Avalon Jacka, CU Independent
Acclaimed acoustic-Americana band The Barefoot Movement celebrates a return to live music with “Here Comes the Sun,” a special performance featuring “tune twists” of popular songs.
The Barefoot Movement spent a lot of time recording from home during the pandemic, amassing over 50 covers posted to their YouTube channel. Now as they celebrate a return to full time touring, they’re taking those covers on the road. Requested by fans, and affectionately dubbed “tune twists,” these songs were the soundtrack to their time at home, bringing light and purpose during a challenging season. Now they are pleased to bring the collective joy that recording them generated to the stage and audiences everywhere. Spanning genres and decades, their acoustic takes on popular songs are infectious and refreshing. “Here Comes the Sun” will have crowds singing along with time honored favorites and a host of Barefoot Movement originals.
Please check back for upcoming tour information.