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Rab Noakes and Brooks Williams - Should We Tell Him: Songs By Don Everly

  by Nicky Crewe

published: 25 / 10 / 2023

Rab Noakes and Brooks Williams - Should We Tell Him: Songs By Don Everly
Label: Red Guitar Blue Music
Format: CD


Rab Noakes’ final recordings with Brooks Williams on this album of Don Everly coversare a poignant reminder of his own talent and his love of a good song

We’ve all heard of six degrees of separation. Thanks to two good friends who have known Rab Noakes for many years, I was lucky enough to meet him a few years ago and we kept in touch until his sad and sudden passing late last year. I’d been a fan from the folk days and was aware of his involvement with Lindisfarne, Gerry Rafferty and Stealers Wheel. His 2015 album, ‘I’m Walking Here’, was a celebration of his long involvement in songwriting and performance, as was ‘Welcome to Anniversaryville’, released in 2018, after he’d had successful treatment for cancer of the tonsils. Like many songwriters of his generation he was influenced by the Everly Brothers. He had realised that Don Everly’s talents as a songwriter weren’t as celebrated as they should be. He’d seen the Everly Brothers in Glasgow at the Odeon Cinema on 17th October 1963, during his first week in the city. Brooks Williams had Rab on his radar too. For the first few years of playing professionally he included one of Rab’s songs, ‘Dublin Take Me’, on his set list. The two of them met when Brooks invited Rab to sing on his album, ‘Lucky Star’. They discovered a shared appreciation of some of Don Everly’s more obscure recordings and discussed making an album of them. Finally in 2022 they got together to do it. Rab had contacted Don’s publisher in Nashville in the 80s and discovered a spiral bound songbook ‘Songs By Don Everly’. Choosing their favourites they worked on them by recording on smart phone and went into the studio in late September 2022. The eleven songs were recorded over three days. By October Rab was aware that he wasn’t well and asked Brooks to see the album through to completion. A conversation they’d had about the Beatles led Brooks Williams to arrange for the recording to be mastered at Abbey Road, knowing that would have pleased Rab. These songs aren’t the familiar Everly Brothers hits but they are a celebration of Don Everly’s songwriting talent. They are also a celebration of a collaboration and friendship between Rab Noakes and Brooks Williams. It’s poignant to listen and know that this is Rab’s last recording. A huge thank you to Brooks Williams for bringing their shared project to completion.

Track Listing:-
1 It Only Costs A Dime
2 Sigh, Cry, Almost Die
3 Should We Tell Him
4 Hello Amy
5 I'll Never Get Over You
6 Since You Broke My Heart
7 Maybe Tomorrow
8 That's Just Too Much
9 I'm Not Angry
10 I Wonder If I Care As Much
11 It's All Over

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