Top News

Popular folk/pop-rock artist Jimmy Rankin to hit New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee stage Friday

Award-winning East Coast songwriter Jimmy Rankin is coming to Cavendish this summer.
Award-winning East Coast songwriter Jimmy Rankin is playing Friday night at the Jubilee in New Glasgow. - Contributed

NEW GLASGOW, N.S. - Friday night at the Riverfront Jubilee is the time to turn up the energy and get the crowd moving.

“It’ll be a rockin’ set, I’ll tune it up for this,” said Jimmy Rankin, who will close Friday’s portion at the Jubilee.

“That’s the kind of show, I get in front of people and I feed off the audience.”

The veteran folk/pop-rocker would know how to work an audience; he’s been a known commodity on Canada’s musical landscape since the days when he was fronting the Rankin Family, a group of siblings who helped bring east coast music to a national audience when they hit it big in the early 1990s.

In 2001, Rankin released his solo record Song Dog. The single ‘Followed Her Around’ was named the "Single of the Year" award at the SOCAN Awards in 2002, was Single of the Year and Video of the Year from the East Coast Music Association.

The album would garner Album of the Year awards at both the Canadian Country Music Awards and at the East Coast Music Awards.

His seventh solo album will be out in late September; produced by Joel Plaskett, Moving East was cut mostly live off the floor at Plaskett’s Dartmouth recording studio and features east coast musical heavyweights, such as multi-instrumentalist J.P Cormier and fiddler Ashley MacIsaac.

“It’s an east coast folk-rock record, primarily an acoustic record,” said Rankin.

“It’s not country, it’s not a pop-rock record.

“It’s a coming home record. I know it sounds kind of cliché, but it’s really a kitchen party record. It was a fun record to make – you’re inventing things as you go along, which is really exciting because you never know how they’re gonna turn out.”

Time For Five:

The News asked Jimmy Rankin for comments about some of his memorable songs that he has written and recorded over the years. Following is what he had to say about each of them:

Followed Her Around

Rankin wrote this with fellow Cape Bretoner Gordie Sampson. At first, Sampson didn’t want to use the song for his own record, but later changed his mind and asked Rankin if he could use it.

“I said, ‘I’ve got my heart set on using this (for Rankin’s first solo album Song Dog).’ We wrestled over the song for a period of time, and I won.”

The distinctive Hammond organ was so striking that when they put the finishing touches on the track, “we took the Hammond up in the mix and it became the signature instrument on that song.”

“I said, ‘I’ve got my heart set on using this (for Rankin’s first solo album Song Dog).’ We wrestled over the song for a period of time, and I won.”

The distinctive Hammond organ was so striking that when they put the finishing touches on the track, “we took the Hammond up in the mix and it became the signature instrument on that song.”

Tripper

Never a single, Tripper, which was on Song Dog, is based on a true story of someone Rankin knew when he was growing up in Cape Breton. The haunting song is a favourite of Rankin die-hards.

“He was a bit older, in and out of trouble with the law,” Rankin remembers.

Tripper’s character, and the true-to-life person it was based upon, met an early demise.

“He was murdered in a parking lot in Toronto, on his way back home from out west. People know that one, it’s kind of like a cult song for me.”

You Feel the Same Way Too

The stomping party song was released in 1995, and when the track was being mixed in the studio, “the engineer turned to me and said, ‘you’ve got a #1 song.’ I don’t remember (if it went to #1) but if it didn’t, it should have,” he joked.

“It’s a sing-along – everyone knows the words to it. It’s one of the songs I do every night in my shows.”

Mull River Shuffle

From The Rankin Family’s album North Country album, the song name-checks some of the people who were in Rankin’s life when he was growing up. “It started to take on a different arrangement every night,” he says now. “God, I think it became a 20-minute song by the end of it.”

The Rawleigh Man

From his upcoming album Moving East, The Rawleigh Man is about someone who made a living selling Rawleigh products door-to-door. “He was selling liniments, salves,” Rankin said.

“J.P. (Cormier) came in and put some Celtic banjo on it.”

Recent Stories