The Rankin Family were a Canadian institution back in the 90’s conjuring up a fresh Celtic approach which also crossed over into Country music and other genres. Their albums have sold over 1.5 million copies. Tragedy struck in 2000, when John Morris was killed in a road accident in Cape Breton, and Raylene passed away in 2012 after a long battle with cancer. The remaining members continued with solo projects, and JIMMY RANKIN headed for Nashville, and went on to record half a dozen solo albums, many garnering Country awards and nominations from the CCMA, The Juno’s and East Coast Music Awards.
For his new solo effort, “Moving East” (True North), Jimmy has returned to his East Coast roots, with, perhaps a more folksy approach to his music.
Having said that, the album opens with the catchy “Loving You Never Gets Old”, which is a co-write with fellow Canadian Country singer songwriter Patricia Conroy. Also worthy of a mention is the jiving “Been Away” which really rekindles memories of that unique Rankin’s sound. “Turn That Boat Around” also has that old family band feel to it.
“No More I’ll Go Roving” is certainly more folky, but still has a Country feel to it.
“Thin Ice”, “The Rawleigh Man”, “Down At The Shore” and “Haul Away The Whale” have some infectious sea shanty style chants (which sound much more authentic than the chants that feature so often in today’s Nashville hits).
As the album moves on, the emotions run deeper. He doesn’t hold back with the language on “These Roads” (bearing in mind that he lost his brother in a road accident), and on “Highlander”, he traces the arrival from Scotland “three lifetimes ago”, and there’s a catchy set of fiddle reels to close out the album.
If you like your Country music on the Celtic edge, this one’s for you.