Performing with Kathleen MacInnes and Innes Watson
Rab Noakes is a force to be reckoned with in the world of music in Scotland and beyond.
In 2017 Rab turns 70. He also celebrates 50 years of properly-billed professional performance. This show reflects those anniversaries with a mixture of new songs, recent songs and landmark songs from throughout his performing and recording career.
Songs from his most recent release ‘The Treatment Tapes EP’, a half-dozen songs relating to his 2015 treatment for tonsillar cancer, will be present as will some from 2015’s well-received double-CD ‘I’m walkin’ here’.
We can expect a fulfillingly upbeat performance from this consummate performer and songwriter.
For this Cottiers appearance only Rab will be joined by renowned singer Kathleen MacInnes alongside fiddler, guitarist and singer Innes Watson. They have each been involved in separate collaborations with Rab recently and in Feb 2017 were part of his full-band Celtic Connections show at Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket.
Neil McFadyen of folkradiouk wrote recently:- “Rab Noakes in concert is an event that every lover of acoustic music should make the most of”.
Chris Bartter of The Morning Star said, in his review of Rab’s 2016 Edinburgh Fringe show said:- “You have a full picture of a songwriter-performer on top of his game”.
Rab’s previous release was the acclaimed double-CD ‘I’m walkin’ here’. During 2016 he was to be found on tour solo mainly promoting that album.
As far as other recordings go, 2014 saw the CD release of two albums plus one EP.
The 40th anniversary of ‘Red Pump Special’ was issued, along with ‘Demos and Rarities Vol2 – adventures with Gerry Rafferty’. The EP ‘Reunited’, a performance-based clutch of songs with Barbara Dickson, is also now available.
Rab always enjoys taking part in creative collaborations. These include the ‘Reunited’ tour with Barbara Dickson. He has also been touring with acclaimed Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes with a variation on their ‘Love, Ballads and Murder’ show.
In January 2015 Rab played a significant guest role in the prestigious Opening Concert at Celtic Connections, an orchestration of Martyn Bennett’s acclaimed ‘Grit’ album by Greg Lawson.
In previous Celtic Connections festivals Rab played a pivotal role in the production of a commemorative concert for Gerry Rafferty in 2012 and one for Michael Marra in 2013.
Rab is hard to pin down in terms of influences. He is an accomplished songwriter whose songs reflect his lifelong interest in the popular song, in folk song and in songwriting. Alongside his acclaimed performance skills as applied to his own compositions his celebrated interpretations feature songs from sources as diverse as Elizabeth Cotten to Garbage.
Rab’s first album ‘Do you see the lights?’ was released in 1970. Thirty years later in the year 2000 he, along with his wife Stephy, formed their own record label, Neon, and produced a couple of new releases. Neon has issued all of Rab’s releases since.
After 50 years and more than 20 albums he remains a vital, popular, prolific and acclaimed songwriter and performer.