PADUCAH – Ranky Tanky, 2020 Grammy Award winner for Best Regional Roots Album, will get the audience moving in West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s Clemens Fine Arts Center Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
The band of native South Carolinians won the Grammy for their album Good Times, music that epitomizes their unique sound of the soulful songs of the Gullah culture - mixing the low country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk and R&B.
Gullah comes from the West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” A centuries-old sound that has been carried down through generations in the Sea Islands of the Southeastern United States, Gullah was originated by African Americans in coastal South Carolina and Georgia during slavery and faithfully preserved by their descendants up through the present day.
Ranky Tanky translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky.” In Ranky Tanky’s hands, Gullah music has been described by NPR as “soulful honey to the ears” and praised for “bringing freshness and uplift to overlooked Americana.” Garden & Gun said, “if Ranky Tanky doesn’t get you moving, you might want to check your heartbeat.”
Fresh out of college, trumpeter Charlton Singleton, guitarist Clay Ross, bassist Kevin Hamilton and drummer Quentin Baxter originally worked together as an in-demand jazz quartet on the Charleston scene in the late 1990s before splitting to make their way as freelance musicians. They worked with names such as Houston Person, Freedy Cole, Cyro Baptista and others. Gaining years of valuable experience while developing a deeper appreciation for the South Carolina Gullah tradition they came from, the band reformed with the dynamic vocalist Quiana Parker.
“Having Ranky Tanky perform in Paducah on the Clemens Center stage is a perfect, cultural experience to celebrate Black History Month,” said Todd Birdsong, Clemens Fine Arts Center director.
For more information and tickets, visit artsinfocus.org.