If I hadn’t scored some last-minute complimentary tickets, we wouldn’t have been sitting in Interior Savings Centre last night listening to the Rankin Family.
How easy it is to forget just how wonderful these Cape Breton musicians are. If I had to do it again, I would gladly have forked over the $50 per ticket to see them again. The last time we saw them perform live was in the same venue a dozen years ago or more.
One might think a reunion tour would be a bit rough around the edges, since the Rankins don’t perform together on an ongoing basis anymore. But their perfectly synchronized, pure voices haven’t lost even a hint of that famous clarity and sweetness in the 20 years since they started in the business.
The only thing missing was John Morris, the brother and former band member who was killed in an auto accident in 2000. But the remaining four — Heather, Raylene, Cookie and Jimmy — are so good, and were backed by such a strong group of musicians, that the original Rankin sound is untarnished by time.
The crowd wasn’t as numerous as in the old days, and audience members reserved their greatest enthusiasm for old favourites like North Country, Fare Thee Well Love and Rise Again, but were appreciative of some of the new songs off the just-released album These Are the Moments.
If you were one of those who missed this concert (including the impressive opening act Destino), make sure you see the next one if the Rankins come through again.