Two living legends of Scottish folk music are combining their tremendous talents for one amazing show next week.
Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes have been well-kent faces, and voices, on the roots and traditional music scene since the early 1970s and now they have teamed up to record an EP and go out on a tour which takes them to Falkirk Town Hall next Friday.
Both Fifers, Dunermline-born Barbara and son of St Andrews Rab are both 66-years-old and recorded their first albums in 1970.
Forty-four years on, the old pals are still going strong and, if their new recording is anything to go by, having the time of their lives.
‘Reunion’, recorded in one epic afternoon session, features six great tracks including ‘Que sera sera’ and ‘Do Right Women’ and celebrates the two artists’ lifelong love affair with music.
This affection for well-crafted songs will be expressed in full and then some at FTH, the third stop on their 19-date tour which kicks off tomorrow.
The pair’s musical pedigree is worth the price of admission alone.
Best known for her duet with Elaine Page ‘I Know Him So Well’ and songs like ‘January February’, Barbara has enjoyed decades of musical success.
She is also an award-winning actress with roles in a number of stage and television productions including ‘Blood Brothers’ and ‘Band of Gold’.
Oh, and she was a regular guest star on The Two Ronnies.
In the same period Rab has released 20 albums, toured extensively with a wide variety of musical collaborators and, like Barbara, has mixed music with other forms of entertainment, running radio shows at the BBC and forming his own television and radio production company.
Both started their music careers singing in local folk clubs in the mid 1960s and, influenced by the sounds and success of fellow Scots like guitar wizard Bert Jansch and The Incredible String Band, Rab began performing around the UK.
Barbara’s debut album ‘Do Right Woman’ featured a tune and a turn from Rab and the pair have performed and recorded together at various times throughout the years.
As Rab gigged steadily, however, Barbara’s career rocketed upwards after meeting Liverpudlian playwright Willy Russell who featured her musical talents in “the plays what he wrote” more than a few times.
From there she signed up to Eric Clapton’s record label RSO and the hits soon followed.
Both Barbara and Rab have a strong connection to Gerry Rafferty, with Rab playing on the songwriter’s first solo album ‘Can I Have my Money Back’, helping found Stealers Wheel and later playing guitar on Rafferty’s ‘Over My Head’ album, while Barbara’s backing vocals graced Rafferty classic ‘City to City’ and ‘Night Owl’.
Making a welcome return to her folkie roots with the 2004 album ‘Full Circle’, mum-of-three Barbara, who was awarded an OBE in 2002, also recorded tracks for last year’s Gerry Rafferty tribute album ‘To Each and Everyone’.
When he isn’t running his production company, Rab plays a bit of blues, country and pop with the Varaflames - oh and his old friend Barbara.
Folk music, and music in general, doesn’t get much better than this, so book your seat for Babs and Rab’s big night out at FTH.