Jimmy Rankin

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Tonight at 8 p.m. West End Cul­tural Cen­tre Tick­ets Hap­pily, Bell was on the same page about that, too. “It’d be easy for me to do a demo and do all the parts, but Bill doesn’t like to work that way. I’ve worked with a lot of people and they can’t al­ways hear it. Bill could hear it.” Rankin, 49, says liv­ing in Mu­sic City has en­er­gized him. “A lot of people as­so­ciate it with coun­try mu­sic, but it’s re­ally a mu­sic mecca,” he says. “I’ve al­ways wanted to live in a place that was all about mu­sic. It’s a com­pet­i­tive place, but it’s an amaz­ing place. I wanted to be a part of that en­vi­ron­ment, and the tim­ing was right so I moved down with my fam­ily.” And Nashville is just the place to be for a singer/song­writer who thrives on co-writ­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tion. All 12 of the songs on Back Road Par­adise are co-writes, and the al­bum fea­tures guest ap­pear­ances from the likes of Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, who sings on Never Gonna Leave, and Gram­my­win­ning coun­try/blue­grass star Ali­son Krauss, who lends her pipes to Flames. “Jim is one of my favourites. The song he sings is this Everly Brothersstyle song — it’s very acous­tic-driven. I wanted a sin­gu­lar voice, and I thought of Jim. And Ali­son, I thought Flames re­ally suited her voice. It’s a haunt­ing sort of love song.” Rankin’s love of col­lab­o­ra­tion shouldn’t come as a sur­prise, con­sid­er­ing his past. While he misses per­form­ing with his sib­lings, he’s built some­thing of a new mu­si­cal fam­ily. “I love col­lab­o­rat­ing with people. And I ap­pre­ci­ate it. Mu­si­cians are re­ally busy people, so I’m al­ways thrilled and thank­ful when they make the time. “I’m also a fan of these artists. I love Blue Rodeo; Greg Keelor sang on my first solo al­bum. And Jim was very gen­er­ous. Ali­son Krauss is such an ac­com­plished artist with umpteen Gram­mys (28, to be ex­act). It’s a thrill to work with these people.”

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