Music is in Jimmy Rankin's blood
Jimmy Rankin performs at the West End Cultural Centre on April 19.
His musical successes are nothing short of astonishing. Singer-songwriter Jimmy Rankin's solo work and Rankin Family awards include six Junos, 28 East Coast Music Awards, nine SOCAN top radio play awards, seven Canadian Country Music Awards, two Music NS Awards, two Canadian Radio Music Awards and 2010 semi-finalist in The International Songwriting Competition.
My earliest memories are of performing or being around music, so it's in my blood, definitely.-Jimmy Rankin
Add to that, his hit single “Fare Thee Well Love” was voted the number one spot in CBC’s “Top Ten East Coast Song of All Time.”
But it's no wonder, when you consider how important music is to him.
"I've played music all my life," said the Mabou native. "My earliest memories are of performing or being around music, so it's in my blood, definitely."
He said the family always performed together as a group, playing for local functions and céilidhs around Cape Breton.
But now he's performed as a solo artist for longer than he performed as part of The Rankin Family band. Still he misses performing with his siblings.
"That's one of the biggest differences for me -- having other members of your family who are of like mind being able to bounce ideas off -- the musical camaraderie."
Not that he isn't getting help from some pretty heavy-hitting talent. Appearing on his latest album, Back Road Paradise, are bluegrass icon Allison Krauss and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy.
"One of the benefits of being around for a long time in this industry is you bump into a lot of people, you make a lot of friends," he said.
"Fortunately I'm able to get in touch with people, call them up and ask them if they'll collaborate with me on something. Most times people say yes."