The RankinsEMI 724382120322
EMI Music Canada
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
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
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Edited by David Schultz