Rankins step out of the freezer and into the kitchen

January 27, 2012

By Ann Andersen – Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
Published: January 24, 2012 12:00 PM

A sold-out one-night Valley audience can expect a down-home kitchen party time at the Cowichan Theatre later this month when the Rankin Family winds up its cross-Canada tour onVancouver Island.

And so far, Rankin family member Cookie Rankin told the News Leader Pictorial from tour stop Swift Current,Saskatchewan, the two-week tour is going great.

“We’ve really only just started, but so far this tour is going really well,” she said.

Except for the weather. Cookie said she found Swift Current’s -30 C temperature a bit hard to take.

“Hot tea helps,” she said.

The upcoming concert here will be the Cape Breton-born group’s first appearance at the Cowichan Theatre. On earlier visits to the Island, they have performed inVictoriaandNanaimo.

As well, the usual quartet of Rankins — Raylene, Jimmy, Cookie and Heather — are a trio for this tour, says Cookie.

“Unfortunately, Raylene fell ill and is undergoing chemotherapy right now,” she said.

The family decided to continue their plans for the performance trip without their sister. All the venues had been booked.

Cookie is enjoying being back on the road.

“I love singing; we all really love singing,” she said.

“When you’re in your twenties, performing is exciting and romantic,” she said, adding that in her thirties she lost interest a bit. That’s when the family took a hiatus as a performing unit, although some continued performing individually.

“Then I reached my forties, and I thought ‘I could get back into this,’” she laughs.

“There’s something about singing, it comes through and from you – almost like meditating or being in the zone.”

Numbers the group has selected to perform inDuncanduring what’s tagged as the Rankin Family Acoustic Tour — Up Close and Personal include Fare Thee Well Love, Rise Again,North Country, Never Alone and Straight Into Love.

The woman who’s been described as having powerhouse vocals says her favourite number is Straight Into Love, written by brother Jimmy.

It’s more than just a lovely melody, she said.

“It’s different from the usual Gaelic Irish Scottish songs – so many of them are about sorrow and despair. This one’s about seizing the moment.”

Opening the show will be brother Jimmy, who was named Roots Artist of the Year at this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards.

In all, the Rankin family member has collected over 32 awards including a Juno for Best Country Artist, a SOCAN award for Single of the Year (Follow Her Around) and was twice named Entertainer of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards.

Together, the group has captivated audiences world wide. It has garnered six Junos, four SOCAN awards, three Canadian country Music Awards and 15 East Coast Music Awards, including the Directors Special Achievement Award in 2010.

The tour winds up inCampbell Riveron Jan. 29.

The family is not planning another tour, Cookie said. They performed throughoutEastern Canadalast year. After this 14-day trip that began inThunder BayOntario, they’ll have crossedCanada, she added.

Cookie, co-owner with a sister of the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou, Cape Breton Island, now lives inNashville,Tennessee.


Your ticket

What: The Rankin family Acoustic Tour – Up Close and Personal

When: January 28, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Cowichan Theatre

Tickets: Sold out – call the theatre box office 250-748 7529 for more information


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