NEW GLASGOW – Growing up Jimmy Rankin’s favourite Christmas song The Christmas Song.
Jimmy Rankin will bring his holiday tour to Glasgow Square for the first time on Sunday, Nov. 17.
According to Rankin it was because of classic songs like that, that he took so long to release his first Christmas themed album “Tinsel Town” in 2012.
“I avoided it for my entire career for a number of reasons,” he said. “One of them was because – I love Christmas music and everything – but those Christmas songs have standards that people expect to hear and they’re so beautifully written by great writers. I’ve always wanted to include on my record, some of my own material, especially for a Christmas record.”
He did his first holiday tour last year after the release of “Tinsel Town.” Because it was such a successful run across Canada he is doing another tour across the country, including a stop in New Glasgow on Nov. 17.
“There are 29 shows, so it’s a pretty full on tour right through Canada and every place I can get to,” he said. “There’s only so much time in the holiday season, so you try to get to as many places as possible and the venues that are available at the time. It’s a short season, so last year I did a run across the country, but didn’t get to cover as many places as I wanted to last time around. This time I’m getting to as many places as I can.”
What sparked his interest in doing the album was a Christmas special he did in Toronto in 2011 with Canadian artists such as the Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea and Chantal Kreviazuk.
“They asked me to sing a Christmas song, so I got an arrangement together for a song and did it and it was a lot of fun,” said Rankin. “I went home after that and decided I was going to do a Christmas record. I started writing for it and it was almost kind of daunting.”
Rankin said one of the challenges was putting his original material up against Christmas standards such as White Christmas, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
“I wrote four Christmas songs and I was pleasantly surprised with how well they came out, so I included them on the record,” he said. “In fact I titled the record after one of the originals, ‘Tinsel Town.’ That was the beginning for me. It was just another challenge to go out there and play that kind of music and show for people. It was a success, so here I am, back again.”
The show will not be entirely holiday music according to Rankin. Being near to mastering his next album he will be playing some of his new songs, holiday music, as well as some fan favourites.
“It was really successful (last year’s tour) and by the time they leave my show they’re really in the spirit of the holiday season, but I think this time around I’m going to mix it up a little more,” he said. “I have a new record that I’ve just completed or is in the final stages so I’m going to throw in a few of those songs, some of my fan favourites from my other records, some Rankin family tunes and then mix it in with Christmas songs. As I get closer to the holiday season I’ll intersperse more Christmas material.”
Last year he said he felt a little weird playing Christmas music on stage for a tour for the first time, but believes this year he will feel more comfortable.
“Maybe it was more me feeling it was weird playing Christmas material in November, but it’s billed as a holiday tour and people go there expecting to hear Christmas music,” he said. “I think this time around because I have a new record I’ll just pace it a little differently. Maybe I’ll play half and half or whatever I feel at the moment.
“Last year it was very successful and I played my entire Christmas record and my other songs and I think people were happy with the show.”0
Tickets for Sunday’s show are $30 in advance or $35 at the door.
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris