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Ranky Tanky: Good Time

Chris Mosey BY

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Ranky Tanky: Good Time
Why change a winning formula? Ranky Tanky's follow-up to their hit debut album takes things further in the same vein: a heady mix of gospel and traditional Gullah songs from the Sea Islands of South Carolina, laced with original music and lyrics. The emphasis this time is on a pounding beat generated by the electric guitar of lone white man Clay Ross and the drumming of Quentin Baxter.

Much of the music, especially "Pay Me My Money Down" and "Worried Now," harks back to the long-gone days of skiffle which gave birth to the Beatles (known at the time as The Quarrymen) and the British beat boom in general. Skiffle was fun and easy to play. For good or ill, it encouraged teenagers to take up the guitar.

Musically it was of limited interest. Ranky Tanky has Quiana Parker's wonderful soulful voice and Charlton Singleton's crystal-clear trumpet to add quality to the mix. Still, the emphasis is on simplicity— Old Bill rolling pin this morning/Old Bill rolling pin this morning/Old Bill rolling pin, up the road and back again —it's quite literally kid's stuff.

As is "Green Sally"—Green Sally up, Green Sally down, Green Sally bake her possum brown .

The exception is the title song, written by Clay Ross. This simply celebrates having a good time—I got a letter from Tennessee, my sweetheart writing to me. His "Beat 'em Down" is a trifle more complex, containing some quite grim symbolism: In these hard times, filled with shadows. When the dark clouds call my name. When these devils swarm around me. That's when my love beats down like rain.

Then there's the closer, "Shoo Lie Loo," which introduces the band and then its members, one by one—Just in the kitchen, with a handful of biscuits, we're Ranky Tanky, fly away over yonder.

An album to put a smile on your face and get your feet tapping. Who could ask for anything more?

Track Listing

Stand By Me; Freedom; All For You; Let Me Be; Sometime; Good Time; Beat Em Down; Green Sally; Old Bill; Pay Me My Money Down; Worried Now; Shoo Lie Loo.

Personnel

Quentin E. Baxter: drums and percussion; Kevin Hamilton: bass; Quiana Parler: vocals; Clay Ross: guitar and vocals; Charlton Singleton: trumpet and vocals.

Album information

Title: Good Time | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Resilience Music Alliance

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