‘I’m Walkin’ Here’ from Rab Noakes - all you need is precisely what you get

(August 24, 2015)

Rab Noakes has what you could call a ‘lived in’ face. He also has a voice that could be termed ‘lived through’. In either case, both imply the owner has a wealth of time and experience on their side, much of which remains the rab noakes im walkin here 001envy of lesser men. With an extensive back-catalogue of albums and an enviable career in music, Rab now releases ‘I’m Walkin’ Here’, a two-CD double album of unique and typical songs that reference both time and experience, in his own words: “… an album that nobody else could make.” Well, listening to ‘I’m Walkin’ Here’ I would d say he’s achieved exactly what he set out to do. You could simply call it ‘Job done’.

There’s all the gutsy rawness, close-touching tenderness, critical observation and caustic commentary that’s to be expected from Noakes. CD1, a collection of originals written between 2010 and 2011, includes the defining statement of ‘I’m walkin’ here’, the realisation of ‘It happened all the same’ and ‘Out of the blue’ advocating the dangers of looking back. CD2 is an eclectic grouping of the man’s favourites, each given the Noakes touch, including old and new classics like ‘Buttons and bows’, ‘Travellin’ light’, Lindisfarne’s ‘Your clear white light’ and Gerry Rafferty's ‘Moonlight and gold’. And were 14 tracks not sufficient, seven ‘extra tracks’ can be downloaded from including cracking versions of ‘Loving you is sweeter than ever’ and ‘I’m looking for someone to love’.

'Stripped back' is not one of my favourite phrases but if it has to used, then it describes this album. However, in this case, I prefer ‘bare essentials’, simply because all you need from ‘I’m Walkin’ Here’ is precisely what you get - bare essentials nothing more nothing less. The album releases on 16 October on Neon Records, an added bonus is the comprehensive inlay booklet, which provides information on the origins of the album and a wealth of background to the songs.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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