Brooks Williams and Rab Noakes
The Rab Noakes/Brooks Williams Scotland-USA Trans-Atlantic collaboration is fueled by a shared passion for acoustic roots rock, hook-laden songwriter pop, and folky Americana. They met in Glasgow in 2018 when Rab sang backing vocals on Brooks’ Lucky Star recording. Shortly thereafter they got together to write songs and the plan to perform was hatched.
But it goes back further than that. In fact, it goes back nearly 30 years. At the very beginning of Williams’ career, he began or ended every show with a song called Dublin Take Me. A Rab Noakes song, as it turns out, that Williams learned from a cassette a friend brought back to America from a Scottish holiday.
Born in Statesboro, Georgia, Brooks Williams got his start in the small bars and coffeehouses of New York and Boston. That was 28 albums ago. More recent appearances include The Tolbooth in Stirling, The Philharmonic in Liverpool, Fairport's Cropredy Festival, Costa del Folk, and Shrewsbury Folk Festival. A rootsy songwriter, Williams is ranked in the ‘Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists’ and his voice is one “you just melt into”, says AmericanaUK. He’s collaborated with the likes of Hans Theessink, Boo Hewerdine, Sally Barker, Chris Difford, Dave Kelly & Paul Jones.
Rab Noakes is a force to be reckoned with in the world of music. A songwriter-performer from Fife, after more than 50 years and 20 albums, the latest of these Welcome to Anniversaryville was released in July/August 2018. He is a songwriter, producer, guitarist, and singer of the highest order. Collaborations and affiliations include Barbara Dickson, Rod Clements, Jill Jackson, Gerry Rafferty, The Varaflames, Michael Marra, Lindisfarne, Stealers Wheel and Celtic Connections, to name but a few.
Rab’s songs reflect his lifelong interest in ‘popular songs’ and ‘roots songs,’ combining melodic hooks and Americana-styled narratives. His interpretations are inspired and feature songs from sources as diverse as Elizabeth Cotten and Beck. He has produced several high-profile commemorative concerts and was part of Greg Lawson’s award-winning arrangement of Martin Bennett’s Grit. In addition to his songs, singing, collaborations and productions, his professional experience also includes radio production and management at the BBC. He is on the Executive Committee of the Musicians’ Union. In recent years Rab received the prestigious “Tartan Clef” award and was inducted into the “Hands Up For Trad" Hall of Fame.
Coming to a venue near you in 2019/20!
Dates So Far (Schedule Being Updated Regularly)
27 April Working Men's Institute, Laxey, Isle of Man
28 April Milngavie Folk Club, Milngavie, Scotland
31 May Old Bakery Studios, Taunton, Somerset
7 June Havehill Arts Centre, Haverhill, Suffolk
24 November Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
25 April Wychwood Folk Club, Ascott-u-Wychwood, Oxfordshire