January 23, 2010 - Kelowna.com
By CanWest News Service
Deric Ruttan is one of the more successful Canadian
country artists of our time, and definitely fits the description of a
The Ontario-raised singer-songwriter has enjoyed Top 10 successes on
radio, with songs like Good Time and First Time In A Long Time, had a
number of Canadian Country Music Award nominations in a variety of
categories, and has been rewarded for significant songwriting
collaborations with American star Dierks Bentley, with the No. 1
Billboard hit What Was I Thinkin' heading a lengthy list.
As the years go by, Ruttan continues to till the country-music soil.
Today, his current single Sing That Song Again is charting well across
the country, while another tune he wrote titled Hell On The Heart is
blazing a trail up the charts in the U.S., aided by the performance
and voice of Eric Church.
With his impressive and growing resume, one would think that Ruttan's
career was being guided by a major management team, and that he'd be
able to focus strictly on the creative side.
"Not so, I am self-managed and have to make a lot of decisions every
week. It's not that I don't want management – you have to find the
right person who understands your goals," says the singer, who has
just kicked off a Canada- wide tour that lands in the Edmonton area
To his credit, Ruttan took care of all the logistics for his latest
sessions that delivered his new album, Sunshine. He also books
rehearsal time with his band, takes care of the travel arrangements,
makes sure the right calls are being made on publishing deals and then
finds time to tour.
While best known early on in his career as a gifted writer, Ruttan has
the convincing vocal chops necessary to win over an audience. By the
time his First Time In A Long Time disc was released, he was turning a
big corner toward becoming a performing artist.
"Live performance is a totally different game than writing songs.
Plus, with touring, you have to learn how to stay healthy. It's like
you are living in a 40-foot germ tube called a tour bus," laughs
Ruttan, who grew up loving the sounds of John Fogerty.
With material from three albums to construct his set lists, Ruttan
will be focusing on tunes like Sing That Song Again, We're Alright and
Up All Night, from the new release.
The latter tune is another gem he wrote with Jimmy Rankin of the
Rankin Family. Ruttan loves the fact that, when the two get together,
"things can take shape quickly."
Just as 2009 was coming to a close, Ruttan and Rankin were among a
number of artists honoured at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall, by the SOCAN
organization, for their songwriting successes.
"Jimmy and I also wrote the title track, First Time In A Long Time,
for my last album. It got a tremendous amount of video play, along
with the radio airplay. So there I was, sitting behind Gordon
Lightfoot and Tom Cochrane at the SOCAN awards. It was a big thrill."
Keeping good company has served all parties well, but Ruttan always
gives the final nod of appreciation to his wife, Margaret Findley,
when it comes to singling out the rock in his close-knit circle.
"She's a songwriter as well, and she was a single mother of five kids
when I married her. The kids can still remember when neither of us had
anything going on. But she's the eternal optimist."
Playing intimate theatres on this 22-date run that takes him out to
the Maritimes, Ruttan will be able to perform a few of his songs in an
acoustic setting, before rocking his way out of the night.
February 2, 2010 - The 9513.com
By Ken Morton
Far north in the Canadian Maritimes–not quite to
where the roads run out–lies the small community of Mabou, on Cape
Breton Island. In this tiny town, music is the tie that binds people,
the local sound boasting a heavy Celtic influence brought over from
sea-faring imports of generations past.
Mabou’s Community Hall is the heart of all things musical here, so
it’s fitting that adjacent to that hall sits a home that houses the
town’s most musical family, the Rankins. Each of Kathleen and Buddy
Rankin’s twelve children (yes, twelve) were encouraged–and expected–to
be involved in a musical community that included performing at church
and on the local fair circuit. Sets of siblings formed singing groups
over the years, but it was a particular set of five of that would find
the perfect formula to catapult them from Mabou to Canada’s biggest
In 1989, John Morris, Raylene, Heather, Cookie and Jimmy Rankin would
release their first self-titled indie album. Five more albums followed
over the next decade, including Fare Thee Well Love (1992), North
Country (1993), Grey Dusk of Eve (1995), Endless Seasons (1995), and
Uprooted (1998). Critically acclaimed and wildly embraced by several
genres of Canadian music, the Rankin Family would be honored with 15
East Coast Music Awards, six Juno Awards, four SOCAN Awards and three
Canadian Country Music Awards.
But in 1999–after ten years together–the Rankins went on an indefinite
hiatus. Tragedy followed when, in 2000, John Morris died in an auto
accident on an icy coastal road. While Jimmy and Raylene recorded
individual projects, no Rankin Family recording or touring took place
until 2007’s aptly named Reunion. In Winnipeg, the sold-out audience
gave the remaining four members (who toured with John Morris’
daughter, Molly Rankin), a standing ovation before the concert even
started. Reunion would bring the group their 16th East Coast Music
Award for Best Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year.
In 2009, The Rankins returned to the studio and recorded another new
album, These Are The Moments. Reflective of the group’s unwavering
faith and optimism during these uncertain modern times, it is filled
with that unique Celtic-influenced harmony-drenched sound that filled
that Community Hall so many years ago.
The 9513 had an opportunity to talk with Jimmy and Heather Rankin
about their Celtic influences, the ladies’ Red Shoe Pub, Jimmy’s
upcoming Olympic performance and their latest album.
KEN MORTON, JR.: The Rankins have won several Canadian Country Music
Awards, and even more Roots music awards, but have many more
influences on your music. For someone who perhaps hasn’t heard a
Rankins album, how would you describe it?
JIMMY RANKIN: That’s a hard one. Over the years, I’ve been asked to
describe it and categorize it. Maybe contemporary folk? There are just
so many different styles in there. There’s Celtic, and traditional and
singer/songwriter. There’s original country and a little bit of pop
and folk. I really don’t know how to classify it. And that, of course,
is one of the challenging things we ran into over the years.
HEATHER RANKIN: It’s just Rankin music. It is hard to describe. There
is no category that it falls into. It has influences from country
music, folk, traditional and it’s one of the problems that we had when
we first started playing in the community in which we were raised. I
remember when we were selling CDs, when we were playing community
shows out of the back of our cars. And after a while, we were selling
so many records, it finally got the attention of the record people in
Toronto. When we signed with EMI Canada, it was difficult for them to
put us in a category, so people just started calling it Canadian
Country. It’s something that’s most appealing to our music, it doesn’t
just fall into one category. So to answer your question, or not answer
it…I don’t know to answer that question.
KMJ: I know the group started with more of a Celtic influence in your
music, and have evolved to a more mainstream sound over the years–or
at least that’s my impression. Has that been a conscious decision or
something that happened just based on your travel and expansion as
JR: We played as a band from the time we were kids, you know? We would
play around the county in Cape Breton where we’re from. We were a
dance band and we played in the old dance halls there. That’s really
where we cut our teeth in the music business. This was back in the 70s
and early 80s. My brother played professionally with some fiddle music
there. And that’s very much part of the culture there in Cape Breton.
We sang other songs which were very traditional as well. And it was a
dance, so we played old rock and roll and country music. We played
anything to make people dance. We always had a big cross section of
music. When we started making recordings in the late 1980s, we wanted
to bring to a recording what we did in our band in those early
days–which was a cross-styling of different styles of music.
Over the years, the Rankins records varied more from the traditional
sound, but we’ve always tried to do different styles of music in our
recording. Maybe we have evolved like that, but we’ve always had a
strong traditional element to our group. I think it’s always rung
through all of our writing.
HR: I don’t think it was a conscious thing. It’s interesting that you
hear it that way. Perhaps it comes from working with different
producers and different players. When we originally started,
eighty-percent of our selections were traditional–probably because we
were steeped in that from a very young age. We were throwing in
material that we were doing for the first 20 years of our lives. As
the years went on, we would do our songwriting–particularly Jimmy–and
it’s kind of turned around to eighty-percent original. Maybe that’s
where that change has come from. I don’t think it was a conscious
thing. It just happens after people started writing.
KMJ: The group trades lead vocals pretty seamlessly. That’s rare these
days. How do you go about choosing who sings what?
JR: There’s really four lead vocalists in the Rankin Family band.
There are my three sisters, of course, and myself. When we go out on
tour–and the last three or four years, we’ve been doing these
cross-country tours–we try to feature everybody in the set list. But
there are favorites that fans want to hear that are staples of the set
list. When we were making a recording, we try to feature everybody at
least twice on the record and have a group song that gets everybody
involved. That’s always been just a trademark of the Rankins. That’s
really just it.
HR: Anytime we’ve gotten together to do a record, we’ve each brought
in a handful of tunes. It was somewhat democratic that we’ve tried to
select each person’s best tune out of everything else that went on the
record. As time has gone on, it’s been more about picking the
strongest song–perhaps the group tune–rather than being more even.
It’s always been pretty democratic, though.
KMJ: You released a new album in 2009 called These Are The Moments.
Besides the obvious fact that it’s a song on the album, why did you
pick that as an album title?
JR: It was really just a lyric from a song that I had written. I think
we were trying to make a CD that was, at the time, songs full of
inspiration, songs that were in the moment and full of hope. That’s
one of the lyrics that our producer Frank Davies thought would be an
excellent title. Each of us thought, “Sure, that sounds like a really
HR: I think at the time, the world has been going through a financial
downturn. There are Canadian men and women soldiers overseas dying
every day. There are a lot of sad things happening in the world and we
felt that we should try to look at things in a positive light and see
how truly fortunate we are. We need to recognize that we need to take
advantage of the good life that we lead and recognize how fortunate we
are. We need to live each moment.
KMJ: American fans will recognize two of the album’s songwriters, Jim
Brickman and Sarah Buxton. What made you choose the two songs written
by those two artists?
JR: The label we were working with in Canada wanted to do a record
with a contemporary sound. Frank Davies enlisted a guy that knows a
lot of these songwriters. They brought these songs to the table and it
really just happened to be that they’re really good songs. That
recording session was a combination of Rankin songs and some of those
really good writers. Victoria Shaw is one of the writers as well.
KMJ: I know you guys reworked a couple of your old classics for the
album as well.
JR: They wanted to re-release a couple of songs like “Rise Again” and
“Fare Thee Well” and “Feel The Same Way.” They wanted to remix these
great old songs and bring them up to date sonically. You have to
remember they were recorded back in 1989 or 1990. We revisited them
and remixed them and I think brought the vocals to the front more.
They shine just a bit more.
HR: We felt that those songs were very fitting with the message of the
newer tunes. We were hoping to expose our music a little more to the
American market. People in the production market hoped to showcase us
to America a little more than we have in the past. It seemed very
fitting to include a couple of our old inspirational songs and fit
them in with these new songs of inspiration.
KMJ: Jimmy, how do you see your solo work different from your work
with the Rankin Family?
JR: Essentially, my solo career was just to keep me occupied the last
ten years. I took what we did with the Rankin Family, which was
singing and playing guitar and songwriting, and applied it to my solo
records. That’s pretty much it. I’m a songwriter. Most all of the
songs on the records have been an extension of my songwriting, or
sometimes songwriting with other people.
KMJ: Heather, while Jimmy and Raylene have done some solo work, you
and Cookie have chosen not to. Any reasoning behind that?
HR: I never saw myself as a solo singer. I always felt that I was a
cog in the Rankin wheel. It was never anything I was interested in. My
interests have really been in acting. It’s something I studied in
University. I got a degree in theater. I’ve pursued that on my own.
And then I went into a show with my sisters Cookie and Raylene and we
did a Christmas record. And each Christmas season, we do a show in and
around that. We also bought a pub up in Mabou, Cape Breton, where we
were born and raised.
KMJ: That’s called the Red Shoe Pub, I understand.
HR: That’s right. We feature local traditional music there seven days
a week at some point in the day. It’s not all day long–usually it’s at
supper time. Those things have drawn my energies. As far as a solo
career, it’s not anything I ever aspired to.
KMJ: Does Jimmy have some elaborate concert contract and rider each
time he performs in your pub?
HR: (Laughing) No, he’s been very good to come and play a tune or two.
Cookie, Raylene, and I have done the same. We’ve actually never all
played there together at the same time. None of us actually live up
there now. We do all tend to go back there and spend time there. It’s
a seasonal operation.
KMJ: Was that always a dream to own a pub?
HR: It was something crazy that we did. If you ever drive up the west
coast of Cape Breton from the highway, it’s very beautiful. And you’ll
meet some of the finest people in the world there and hear some of the
best music in the world. But it is very rural and there isn’t a lot to
do there except for the summer when there’s square dances and
community events. You hear traditional music. A person had taken an
old general store in our community and converted it into a pub. He had
it for about five years and it gained a reputation for a place to go
to hear traditional music. Unfortunately, he wasn’t successful in
keeping it open for business and it closed. It was closed for two
years. Every time we would go back there, we’d see tourists looking
through the windows or front door. The three of us along with another
sister couldn’t stand to see this vibrant little place of music not
survive. So we did a crazy thing and got together and bought it. And
for the first seasons, I managed it. And that was an even crazier
thing to do. Fortunately, we succeeded. And now we have very capable
people to run it and it goes very smoothly. Tons of people come from
KMJ: Jimmy, you’re going out to sing in the Winter Olympics in
Vancouver, I understand.
JR: Yeah, I’m going out there to do a couple shows there. That’s
correct. You’ve done your homework.
KMJ: That’s got to be pretty exciting to be there on a world stage in
JR: I’m looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun. I’m known as
a singer/songwriter so those shows will just be me and a guitar player
going through some Rankins stuff and some of my stuff–just my normal
set list. It will be good.
KMJ: Looking back a bit, you guys decided to hang things up in 1999
together as a band. Why the break and why the reunion again nearly a
JR: When we set out to make recordings back in 1989, we started out
grassroots without a manager or a record label or any knowledge of the
music business. Growing up playing music locally, our goal wasn’t
necessarily to get a record deal and tour and see the world. And I
think we were thinking five years. As it turned out, it took off and
kept us very busy for ten years recording and television specials and
everything that goes with it. In those ten years, we went through
everything you go through in the music business. Managers. Record
labels. We learned all that. I think everyone thought it was just
time. We saw major changes in the business at that time. We just
decided it was time to hang up the gloves indefinitely.
Tragically, later that year, my brother John Morris was killed in a
car accident. I think at that time everybody thought that was the
finale for the Rankins. But in 2007, a promoter we worked with out
west during our earlier career asked if we’d do a reunion tour. He
thought there was a demand for us out there. People wanted to hear us
and hear those old songs. It was just too good not to be heard. I got
everybody back together and we gradually got it back together. It was
without my brother, of course. But we found some people to do his job.
We started on the west coast of Canada and headed east and amazingly
played to sold-out houses everywhere we went. And that went so well,
we did it again. People wanted to hear it. And we shot some television
specials while we were out there. And it’s something we revisit every
other year and do some dates. It’s really fun. And it just so happens
that we’ve been placing some CDs as well.
KMJ: What’s next for the Rankins in 2010 and beyond?
JR: There’s talk of going out and doing an acoustic tour where it’s
just myself and another musician and my sisters–just doing that
acoustic folk with a focus on the vocals. We’d like to do that in
smaller halls. That’s what we’re talking about in 2010. We’re just
getting that started.
KMJ: And how about for Heather Rankin?
HR: After 1999, when we quit, we really felt like we were on a
treadmill. We had started to lose sight of what we were doing this
for. People really want to hear this music. It seems like now we’re
taking this bi-annually. Hopefully the acoustic show with evolve and
happen this summer, and every holiday I do the Christmas show with my
sisters. Once in awhile, I’ll do some auditions for film or the odd
musical. And there’s the pub that keeps us busy with hiring staff and
doing that stuff year to year. I’m happy with the pace I’m living
right now. Who knows what the future holds? For now, I’m content with
touring with the family every other year or so.
KMJ: I’ve got one last question for you. What is country music to the
HR: I think some people think country music is what you hear on the
radio. Like Carrie Underwood. She’s a beautiful singer, sings
fantastic songs, and a beautiful looking person. To some people, that
is country music. But isn’t country music singing personal things
about the place you come from and the people you know, the life you
lead, the history of your place? That, to me, is country music. Hank
Williams didn’t always sing about love. He sang about a lot of things
in life- good and bad. That is country music to me.
February 10, 2010 - Halifax Herald
SYDNEY (CP) — Well-known Cape Breton artists will
figure prominently into this year’s version of the East Coast Music
The Rankin Family and fiddling sensation Ashley MacIsaac will perform
in the gala show at Centre 200 in Sydney on March 7.
The evening will honour the Island’s rich musical past with a
performance by Grammy-winning artist Gordie Sampson.
Mary Jane Lamond will also be on hand to lend her storytelling talents
to the show’s narrative.
The Rankin Family will receive the Director’s Special Achievement
February 24, 2010 - Okotoks Western Wheel
By Tamara Neely
A trio of seasoned singer-songwriters has joined
forces and will take the stage together in a special concert in Bragg
Raylene Rankin, Cindy Church and Susan Crowe will bring more than 25
years of experience to the stage at the Bragg Creek Centre as they
share their musical experiences through folk, country and jazz.
Crowe, who has released five solo albums and was named English
Songwriter of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for her album
Greytown, said her ability to translate an emotion into song, and have
the audience share in that emotion, has come from a long career
“As an artist, I don’t try to do that,” said Crowe. “The minute you
try, you undermine yourself as an artist. But I hope that people will
be drawn into my songs.
“It’s not a conscious thing. It’s a subconscious thing. From the time
I was very young, writing was a way of being in the world. It was my
way of expressing what I felt. We all get better as we get older, as
long as we keep our eye on the work and never lose the appetite for
connecting with the human experience and reflecting it.”
The trio’s website, www.rankinchurchcrowe.com , has samples of two
songs including “Where the Redwood Grows” and “Fell Back Up”, which
were written by Crowe and featured on Rankin, Church and Crowe’s debut
album. Crowe and Church write most of the songs for the trio with
Rankin enriching the vocal harmony.
The songs display such mastery of melody and lyrics that within
seconds of the song’s beginning, the music reaches inside the body to
where the emotions hide.
“Everyone has a different relationship with a song and it becomes
yours, in a way,” said Crowe. “If you have an emotional experience,
you are creating it and I am only facilitating it.”
The song “Where the Redwood Grows” is about missing the west coast,
while being back in the east coast. Crowe’s lyrics invoke a visual
picture of the trees, birds, flowers that are ubiquitous on the west
coast and absent in the east.
“The redwood trees, the white roses, the bluebirds, they all represent
something,” said Crowe. “They are underscored with meaning. When I
play that song, still, I feel a bittersweet, melancholy. Yet, it has
this under layer of beauty.”
The harmony achieved by three women’s voices is also a thing of
Rankin and Church both have a long history of refining their talent
before audiences and in the studio.
Rankin has been singing since she was four years old. Now almost 50,
Rankin has decades of experience connecting with audiences alongside
her siblings performing around the world as The Rankin Family.
The Rankin Family is world renowned for their east coast sound and has
been honoured with 15 East Coast Music Awards , six Juno Awards 
and three Canadian Country Music Awards .
Since 2003, Rankin has embarked on her own solo career, then teaming
up with Crowe and Cindy Church in 2007.
“The show (at Bragg Creek Centre) is a collection of songs we all
bring to the table,” said Rankin. “Some with our past careers, as solo
performers and some is stuff we’ve written together.
“You won’t see a Rankin Family experience. It’s a different texture,
harmony, a totally different vibe.”
In 2007, with a live concert at Alderney Landing in Nova Scotia, the
trio found they had some musical chemistry. Their musical backgrounds
are a big part of who each woman is, but together they have a fresh
Church brings a country and folk edge to the group. Years ago she
toured and recorded with Ian Tyson and later in the group Quartette
with Sylvia Tyson.
She has also released three solo albums and is currently a member of
the popular Lunch at Allen’s, which is a collaborative venture with
Murray McLaughlin, Ian Thomas and Marc Jordan.
Rankin, Church and Crowe perform at the Bragg Creek Centre on
Saturday, Feb. 27. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the performance begins at
8 p.m. Tickets are $33 for adults, $25 for seniors and $15 for youth.
For tickets or more information call 403-949-4114.
The Bragg Creek Centre is located at 23 White Avenue.
February 24, 2010 - Cochrane Eagle
By Lindsay Wilson
Raylene Rankin, Cindy Church and Susan Crowe are
three of Canada’s most highly respected singer-songwriters in the
music business today.
C0ming from varied musical backgrounds, but all tied to their East
Coast roots, these three friends have formed a strong musical
And they are making their way to Beaupre Hall Feb. 26 and the Bragg
Creek Centre for Performing Arts Feb. 27.
After doing a number of shows over the last couple of years they have
decided to take to the open road for a series of shows in Western
“It’s one of those situations where you think you’re doing one show,
and then there’s chemistry, and it takes a life of its own,” said
Cindy Church of her collaborative project with Rankin and Crowe.
Each member has built impressive resumes over the course of their
Raylene Rankin, perhaps best known for her role in the Rankin Family
and the Rankin Sisters, has also had comparable success in her solo
career. Her debut solo album in 2003, Lambs In Spring, earned her an
East Coast Music Award nomination.
An experienced singer, Rankin has spent a lifetime developing her
songwriting abilities highlighted by her unmistakable Celtic groove
and signature crystal-clear voice.
She continues to perform with her family members, as well as the RCC
Cindy Church has cut out a definitive place in the Canadian music
scene over the last few decades, both as a writer and as a vocalist.
There is a warmth in Church’s versatile vocals, making it easy to
listen to this country-rooted singer.
Church’s most recognized projects include Quartette (a project with
Sylvia Tyson, Caitlin Hanford, the late Colleen Peterson and later on
with Gwen Swick), Lunch at Allen’s (a collaboration with Murray
McLauchlin, Ian Thomas and Marc Jordan) and The Nearness of You — a
tribute to the music of Hoagy Carmichael (with pianist/composer Joe
Sealy and bassist George Koller).
Church has been nominated for two Junos and by the Country Music
Susan Crowe is best known for her finely crafted songwriting,
demonstrated in her four CDs. She has been nominated for two Junos,
East Coast and West Coast Music Awards, received the Music Nova
Scotia’s Female Artist of the Year Award and a Woman of Excellence
Her performances at festivals and shows across the country have
secured her position in the music business.
She is known as a “writer’s writer.”
“It may mean that I’m respected more for my writing than for other
aspects of our way of making a living. I’m definitely a bit of a lyric
geek, and I think that shows in my work,” said Crowe.
For the collective that is Rankin, Church and Crowe, songwriting is
the primary focus brought to life by three women in the form of
stripped-down acoustic folk-based performances.
“I love the songs. It’s really about the songs and the singing and the
sparseness of it — just three girls and a guitar player,” explains
The girls have yet to record together, and while there doesn’t seem to
be immediate plans to do so, these three women seem to be having way
too much fun playing together to cease the project anytime soon.
“It’s easier to do this now than when we were in our 30s when we took
everything so seriously,” explains Church, referring to the constant
humour that exists between the trio both on and off stage.
At this point in their careers, there is a level of maturity that has
replaced the anxiety generally experienced by younger performers who
are trying to establish themselves in the highly competitive and
constantly evolving world known as the music industry.
“By far, it’s one of the warmest, congenial groups in which I’ve
worked. These women are treasured friends and it’s my great fortune to
work with them,” emphasizes Crowe.
Tickets can be purchased for the Feb. 26 Beaupre Hall show at Java
Jamboree for $40. For more information call Erin or Darcy at
For the Feb. 27 Bragg Creek show tickets can be bought by phone at
403-949-4114 or online at braggcreekperformingarts.com.
March 20, 2010 - Sherwood Park News
Jimmy Rankin is packing up and moving out of town.
As if packing up his life and hauling boxes around isn't enough work,
he's also playing at Festival Place on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
"It's a huge, huge endeavour," he said. "I've been in this house for
For 10 years, Rankin was a member of The Rankin Family and has been
going solo for the same length of time.
The awards started flowing in almost as soon as his career began.
Rankin has won four SOCAN-sponsored ECMA and Juno songwriter of the
"It's always a nice shot in the arm for what you do," Rankin said.
"Over the years I have almost a whole room full of them. It's all in
boxes, actually, now."
For the show, it will be just Rankin and a guitar player.
"It's more of a singer/songwriter show," he said. "It's not a sleeper
show by any means."
Looking back, he appreciates his past more. A couple of weeks ago, he
and his sisters received an award at the East Coast Music
Association's awards for musical contribution to the industry.
He said people still call out requests and he plays off the cuff.
Packing for the show is nowhere near as intensive as moving.
"I travel pretty light now; I'll just bring a couple of acoustic
Gibson guitars," he said.
Growing up in Cape Breton influenced Rankin's music.
"If I go way, way back to when I was growing up, there was this strong
storytelling tradition there," he said. "People just naturally told
stories about the events of the day. I'm inspired by that; that's
reflected in my songwriting."
He said the isolation forces thinking inward.
Being surrounded by music all his life, he always had a piano in the
house, played drums at the age of 11, and picked up the guitar in his
early teens with a growing interest in music.
"It wasn't until my late teens and early 20s that something really
happened," he said. "I sort of had an epiphany — something changed,
something clicked and I really started writing songs."
His latest album, Edge of Day, was released in 2007 and produced by
"It's very rootsy-rock, singer-songwriter, alt-country," he said. "The
way it was recorded was very organic and very live off the floor with
The video for "Slipping Away" was shot near the oil refineries in the
Rankin said the song has an apocalyptic feel and the director came up
with the setting.
"It was as cold as hell shooting that video," he said. "We lost a lot
of footage for technical reasons. I think the song calls to that kind
of apocalyptic treatment."
Rankin recently played at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but he is no
stranger to that scene. He also played at the 1994 Lillehammer
Olympics in Norway.
"It's just nice to be around those events," he said. "There are people
there from all over the world. The place is just buzzing with energy."
Table seats are $36, box seats are $34 and theatre seats are $32.
Tickets are available at the Festival Place box office, by calling
780-449-3378, by visiting www.festivalplace.ab.ca, or through