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RAB NOAKES - Iím Walkiní Here

RAB NOAKES - Iím Walkiní Here
Neon Records NEONCD0017

A double CD of two halves from the elder statesman of Scottish music, I’m Walkin’ Here is Rab’s 19th album.

CD1 has a raucous, up-tempo/carefree feel, aiming at 21st century skiffle. Strong rhythms proliferate, with a sense of spontaneity. All 12 tracks are self-penned; two are instrumentals, others suggest Dylanesque influences. CD2 is more mellow and measured, largely consisting of Rab’s interpretations of an array of 14 songs. This intriguing collection has an autobiographical theme, and includes Travellin’ Light, Bye Bye Blackbird, Buttons And Bows, and a wonderful Michael Marra song, The Guernsey Kitchen Porter. There is even space for the folk classics, The Two Sisters, and the more recent, Goodbye Booze. In addition, six tracks can be downloaded free from Rab’s website.

Alongside Rab’s 11 guitars, an impressive cast of musicians and singers make significant contributions – including Barbara Dickson, Alice Marra and Jimmie MacGregor. Extensive sleeve notes in a lavish booklet offer fascinating insights into the creative processes behind the songs and how influences are blended into new forms, citing references as diverse as Chinese proverbs and Canned Heat! There are tales of Gerry Rafferty, Alan Hull (Lindisfarne) and the long-forgotten Emmet Miller among others. The personal significance of the tracks shines out.

By turns, exuberant and tender, but always with a strong musical commitment, I’m Walkin’ Here provides a lively and deep-rooted listening experience. From ballads to rockabilly, blues to folk, it is a comprehensive journey through the tastes, styles and skills of a master craftsman.

Jim McCourt

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The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 111 of The Living Tradition magazine.