Inverness Oran Entertainment


Jimmy Rankin brings Nova Scotia Kitchen Party show to Strathspey Place

                       Jimmy Rankin is slated to play Strathspey Place Thursday evening. (Tim Brennan photo)

 April 20, 2022

-by John Gillis
    “Been away, been away been away, away too long. Feels so good, feels so good, feels so good to be home.”
    Yes, that’s the chorus from Jimmy Rankin’s upbeat and catchy song, Been Away, a single from his Moving East recording.

    While it’s been more than four years since moving back from Nashville for Rankin and four years since the release Moving East, it’s still an appropriate sentiment for the acclaimed singer-songwriter who will be bringing his Nova Scotia Kitchen Party to the Strathspey Place stage on April 21st, 2022, with a show time of 7:00 p.m.
    Whether it’s a traditional folk ballad, an original song, a cover, or a lively set of down-home Cape Breton fiddle music that he is accompanying, you can always bet that Jimmy Rankin is going to bring his best to the performance or to the stage. That’s one of the reasons he has been the recipient of so many music awards, airplay, and one of the reasons he’s nominated for ECMA’s Fan’s Choice 2022 Entertainer of the Year.
    You can catch some of this spirit live in concert Thursday night at Strathspey Place as Jimmy Rankin teams up with some special guests including singer songwriters Steve MacDougall (Slowcoaster, Hauler) and Breagh MacKinnon.
    Growing up in Mabou near the community hall, Rankin Family members were essentially weaned on performance and entertaining from a very early age.
    The many local musicians who frequented the kitchens, halls, and stages throughout Inverness County and Cape Breton provided a ripe and fertile ground to inspire the talented siblings.
     Once song-writing got in Jimmy’s blood, he honed that craft and his performance skills, which led to a very successful solo career that followed his time with the Rankin Family band.
    “Growing up, we used to entertain at home. We’d have kitchen parties and the recipe is pretty simple, doesn’t matter where you are, just add friends, food, music, good cheer, and there you have it.” Jimmy Rankin recently noted.
    With the Nova Scotia Kitchen Party – expect at least a 90-minute show featuring great music and storytelling. You may even hear some fan favourites – possibly The Mull River Shuffle, Followed Her Around, or Fare Thee Well Love (recently inducted into the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and in 2013, voted the #1 East Coast song of all time by CBC listeners across Canada), or other cuts from Jimmy’s catalogue of songs.
    Following the Rankin Family band era, Jimmy has made seven solo records with many hits and a number of music videos including some for his better known songs such as: Followed Her Around, Slipping Away, Highlander, Been Away, Cool Car, I’m Just Saying, California Dreamin’, Morning Bound Train, and more.
    Catching up with Rankin last week , he shared some fond memories and stories of previous tours and his time in Nashville which, even prior to his moving there around 2010, included some career highlights such as touring with Keith Urban and the late and legendary singer songwriter, John Prine, who we lost to COVID-19.
    “I have a lot of great memories of being in Nashville. While it changed and grew a lot while we were there we really got to know a lot of people too. It’s not like it’s a really big city. It’s a great place to be as a musician of course because of the musicians, the opportunities, and the willingness of them to play on recordings or in concerts with you. I had the opportunity back a number of years ago to tour with Keith Urban. I found out he and his band had been a fan of my first solo record (Song Dog) and we had a lot of fun performing together on tour. It was sort of a new thing for me opening these shows and going on stage alone with an acoustic guitar at that time – but it was a lot of fun as well,” said Jimmy.
    In remembering John Prine, Rankin had this to say:
    “Yes, he was such a great guy to hang out with as well. Sometimes opening these shows the head liners won’t have anything to do with you, but John came up to me and asked me if I’d like to come out and perform an encore with him. Of course, I said sure. I asked him what song he wanted to do and he said Paradise and I thought, oh shit, I don’t know that song. But, of course, I did once I’d heard it. I have fond memories of sitting back stage during his concerts listening to his show on a speaker and having a glass of wine with his manager, Al Bunetta. Those fellows had seen a lot and had some pretty interesting stories to tell,” said Rankin.
    We’re not out of the woods yet with COVID-19 but Rankin, like many musicians, is eager to get back to performing live.
    He acknowledges that a lot of people both on the music side and the management side had to get make changes or get out of the music world due to the impacts of COVID 19.
    Rankin also spoke about some of the other material from Moving East, songs such as Highlander, Been Away, and Haul Away the Whale – songs that he has made music videos for with long-time collaborator, Canadian film and video director, Jeth Weinrich.
    “I had the idea for Highlander for some time and been working away at it and it’s loosely based on the stories of Alistair MacLeod,” Rankin added.
    Since moving back east, Jimmy says he’s hoping to do more collaborations with East Coast musicians from various genres and generations. Expect a good show and some surprises as Rankin likes to mix it up.
    “I’ve always been a big fan of music and open to listening to many genres of music. It’s interesting to collaborate. Some of the guests in later shows may include Lennie Gallant, Reeny Smith, and J.D. Fortune. I did a couple of shows prior to this with a band formerly known as Mardeen and now known as Villages. Some of these Kitchen Party shows are on smaller stages. The Glace Bay show at The Savoy is probably the largest venue on this tour and it will feature a full band,” he added.
    Acoustic or full band, audience members are unlikely to be disappointed.
    In addition to Strathspey Place, (tickets: 902-945-5300) Jimmy Rankin’s Kitchen Party is also listing the following tour dates:
April 22nd, New Glasgow, NS, Glasgow Square Theatre;
April 23rd, Windsor, NS, Mermaid Theatre;
May 27th, Truro, NS, Marigold Cultural Centre;
May 28th, Liverpool, NS, Astor Theatre;       
June 3rd, Glace Bay, NS, Savoy Theatre;
June 18th, Annapolis Royal, NS, King’s Theatre.




























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