Rab Noakes is unique. He’s a Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist and music historian who can switch effortlessly between pop and folk, and has worked with everyone from Gerry Rafferty (with whom he co-founded Stealers Wheel) to Barbara Dickson. And he’s still in remarkable form, as this double album of his “21st-century skiffle” proves. The first set consists of new compositions that show his gift for melody and love of Americana, and include the glorious Out of Your Sight, influenced by Buddy Holly (who apparently admired Lonnie Donegan), a stomping tribute to a 1920s minstrel singer and a poignant lament for Rafferty. The second album is dominated by “interpretations” (he hates the word covers) of songs from early Cliff Richard to Garbage and Beck, along with the skiffle standard Freight Train, on which he’s joined by Jimmy MacGregor and a finely sung treatment of the traditional The Two Sisters. Magnificent.
Rab Noakes: I’m Walkin’ Here review – effortlessly connecting pop and folk
Robin Denselow is a journalist and broadcaster who specialises in music and politics. He is the author of When The Music's Over, a history of political pop