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RAB NOAKES - Just In Case

RAB NOAKES - Just In Case
Neon Records NEONCD011

There will be readers of a certain vintage to whom the names of husband and wife songwriting team Boudleaux and Felice Bryant will be immediately recognisable, but probably a lot more to whom they might seem unknown. But when we consider that they wrote a massive number of hit songs from the 1940s to the 70s, ranging from the likes of Love Hurts to Rocky Top, and that they wrote for, among many others, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Leo Sayer and the Everly Brothers, then, although their names may not be in everyday household usage, their songs and tunes most certainly are. They are rightly ensconced in the Nashville Hall of Fame, but their understanding of the musical tastes of their times enabled their work to be heard on some of the most popular media outlets in many countries.

Given that Rab Noakes is himself no mean hand at rattling off a cracking song or two, it’s perhaps not too surprising that he has produced an album of House of Bryant numbers. True to his usual style, Rab goes for a robust no-nonsense approach, making live vocal and guitar recordings, then adding in some extra guitars and harmonies, leaving an end result which exactly fits the mood of these songs. The material on this CD was written in earlier and in many ways simpler times, and too much over-production would have detracted from that overall period feeling.

It’s always good when you get a chance to concentrate on the lyrics of songs and absorb their stories, and Rab’s clear vocals and stripped-back accompaniments allow this fully, so whether discovering the music of this era for the first time, or indulging in a wee bit of nostalgia, enjoy it for the fine piece of work it is.

Gordon Potter


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This album was reviewed in Issue 94 of The Living Tradition magazine.