The Rankins - Uprooted


The Rankins

EMI 724382120322

EMI Music Canada
3109 American Dr
Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1B2

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Guntram Gudowius

The Rankin Family deliver a mixed bag of mostly original songs that to varying degree show their Celtic heritage. I say "mixed" because their presentation is strongest, of course, in their interpretation of traditional songs and is weakest in their rocky originals.

All of the Rankins are strong singers and they trade singing lead and harmony vocals, creating variety with consistent quality. My personal favorites are the slow love ballads with Heather and Cookie blending their voices for an angelic experience. As is often the case, these are mostly songs of longing and mourning a past love, but there are songs about travelling, an ode to an island, and a social commentary of modern life as well.

The accompaniment is mostly acoustic with a full, yet not overwhelming, production. I guess these days sampling and programming are part of many productions, but I always would prefer the real thing! One of the songs for which sampling is used is a fun Celtic rap. For the rest of the songs, the programming certainly isn´t dominating the sound.

Their excellent musicianship gets highlighted in their renditions of the traditional music with fast interplay of fiddles, guitars and mandolin, real footstompin´ stuff. If you like music with a Celtic touch, yet are not a purist, then this is a very nice collection of songs.


Jimmy R - acoustic guitar, tambourine and vocals
John Morris R - electric & acoustic pianos, synthesizers, fiddle and Percussion
Heather R - vocals and harmonica
Cookie R - vocals and tambourine
Raylene R - vocals and percussion
John Jennings - acoustic guitar
Mark Casstevens - acoustic guitar
Steve Gibson - electric guitar
Victor Krauss - electric and acoustic bass
Gerry Douglas - slide guitar
Pete Wasner - hammond b-3
Scott Ferguson - drums and percussion
Dean Parks - acoustic and electric guitars
Michael Landau - electric guitar
Gordie Sampson - acoustic and electric guitars
Paul Simmons - drums
George Massenburg - programming and synthesis
Sam Bush - mandolin
Howie MacDonald - fiddle
John Goodman - uilleann pipes
Matt Rollins - piano

Production and sound design by George Massenburg

Track List:

  • Movin´ On (Jimmy Rankin)
  • Let It Go (Jimmy Rankin)
  • Bells (Jimmy Rankin)
  • Maybe You´re Right (Cookie Rankin & Gordie Sampson)
  • Long Way To Go (Jimmy Rankin)
  • Cold Winds (Heather Rankin)
  • Weddings, Wakes And Funerals (Jimmy Rankin with Kevin MacMichael)
  • One Day I Walk (Bruce Cockburn)
  • Parlour Medley (John Morris Rankin)
  • O Tha Mo Dhuil Ruit (Oh How I Love Thee) (trad., words: Neil MacLeod)
  • Tailor´s Daughter (Jimmy Rankin)
  • An Innis Aigh (The Happy Isle) (trad.)
  • Greenberg Medley (David Greenberg; Dan Hughie MacEachern; trad.)
  • Farewell To Lochaber

Edited by David Schultz

Copyright 1999, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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